Moray House School of Education and Sport

Michele Saraiva Carilo, PhD 2018

'Expertise of faculty made me choose Moray House...I felt that I needed to be trained and supervised by scholars who understood theory, respected practice, and, mostly, acknowledge diverse contexts rather than pushing Eurocentric perspectives on education.'

Michele Saraiva Carilo
Michele Saraiva Carilo


Portuguese as an Additional Language within the context of Exchange Programme for Undergraduate Students: a proposal for theoretical and pedagogical shift


Dr Pauline Sangster 

Dr Maria Dasli

Dr Mike Jess

Where are you from?


How did you fund your PhD?

Brazilian Agency - CAPES 

How did you find postgraduate research study at Moray House?

Starting a PhD abroad at the age of 33 felt extremely challenging. However, the enormous amount of support, both personal and academic, that faculty and staff at Moray House provided made things easier. Everyone was prepared and trained to deal with the many difficulties that we students had. When they could not help us themselves, they were always knowledgeable enough to guide us towards available resources that could.    

What made you choose Moray House School of Education and Sport? 

Expertise of faculty made me choose Moray House. I wanted to develop my PhD in Language Teacher Education based on theoretical and pedagogical perspectives that are under the umbrella of critical and intercultural pedagogies. Thus, Moray House was the place to be thanks to faculty’s engagement to social justice and education of excellence. I felt that I needed to be trained and supervised by scholars who understood theory, respected practice, and, mostly, acknowledge diverse contexts rather than pushing Eurocentric perspectives on education.  

Where are you now? What are you working on and how has your time with us influenced your current work? 

I have been working as a lecturer and a coordinator for the Portuguese language programme at the Ohio State University, in the U.S. I would say that my time at Moray House had an immense impact on my academic career and prepared me to become the scholar that I am today. My qualifications have been greatly recognised and, therefore, I am able to develop research and practice in my area of expertise.  

What impact did your research have on your area of study? 

Because I proposed a theoretical and pedagogical update for my area of study, Portuguese as a Foreign Language, my research had some impact on the field. Traditional theories and pedagogical perspectives have been reviewed and adjusted due to current trends. However, my thesis has been used as a reference for many other research projects. Thus, I am very pleased with the results and with the contribution that it seems to be providing to others – which was my goal since the beginning.  

Has the Covid-19 experience prompted you to reassess your career goals or priorities? If so, how? 

My Covid-19 experience has been challenging, as it has been for everybody. However, I managed to use my training and qualifications in language teaching through the use of technology to train others, since technology became crucial for education worldwide. In that sense, Covid-19 has had an impact on my career, since I have been working more, developing more research, and reaching broader audiences (e.g. multiple languages schoolteachers, language instructors in higher education, professors who had not been familiar with technology). 

Alumni wisdom: If you could offer a piece of advice to fellow members of the University of Edinburgh community, what would it be? 

Your studies do not need to be the only thing in your life, but they do have to be your priority. Although it feels like forever, you will be a student for a very short period of time. This is your time to explore, make mistakes, learn from others whose main responsibility is to help you on your academic journey. That ends as soon as you graduate for the last time. After that, everyone becomes a colleague, everyone has their own projects, their own priorities. Therefore, helping you to figure things out will be your responsibility rather than others. Having mentors will become less and less common whereas accountability for your choices and actions is an everyday reality.