Critical citizenship in TESOL classrooms

Understanding the impact of TESOL on Citizenship

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

With almost one third of the population born overseas, Australia is a key immigration destination in the Asia-Pacific region, yet difficulties in information access during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a social disconnect and isolation among immigrant communities. Language and citizenship are widely argued to exist in a symbiotic relationship. Through language, societies define and delimit membership, and individuals access and exercise rights and enact civic participation. TESOL sits in this nexus, yet few studies have examined the role of language learning programmes in navigating convergences and tensions between existing and emerging notions and practices of citizenship. This qualitative, longitudinal study will uncover the experiences of ESL students and their teachers engaged in migrant English language programmes to develop rich understanding of TESOL classrooms as citizenship development sites and of the role TESOL teachers play in this process.  The study will empirically extend theory on the language and citizenship relationship and expand knowledge regarding TESOL teachers’ multi-faceted roles in largely under-explored directions. It will also generate insights for community,for policy on migrant programmes and for TESOL teacher educators.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Mairin Hennebry-Leung


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,854 per annum (2022 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Experience in TESOL practice
  • A relevant Masters degree (Language education/Applied Linguistics/TESOL)

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Language education
  • Applied Linguistics

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Mairin Hennebry-Leung to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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