Dr Angela Gayton

Associate Tutor (TESOL)

  • Institute for Education, Teaching and Leadership (IETL)
  • Moray House School of Education
  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details



Charteris Land (Rm 4.06)

Moray House School of Education
Post code


I joined the MSc TESOL team in January 2014. Previously, I worked in EFL for ten years, in Italy, China, and most recently as an EAP specialist in both the Universities of Nijmegen and Wageningen in the Netherlands. In 2013 I completed my doctoral research on language learning motivation in Scottish secondary schools, which was carried out at the University of Edinburgh, and funded by the AHRC, with supervision from Prof. John Joseph (Linguistics and English Language) and Dr. Lorna Hamilton (Moray House School of Education).

During my time as a PhD student I was a member of the Bilingualism Matters research group, which disseminated information about the benefits of early childhood bilingualism to local community groups. Furthermore, I volunteered for three years with the University of Edinburgh's Widening Participation department as a French language teacher and curriculum developer, to deliver foreign language education in primary schools located in areas of lower socioeconomic status.

For the last ten years, I have been an active member of the charity International Voluntary Service, working as a language teacher on short-term overseas projects; I am currently involved in building sustainable links between IVS and the Moray House School of Education; this work adheres to the University of Edinburgh's mission statement of making significant local and global socially responsible societal contributions.

Postgraduate teaching

Semester 1, 2016-17:

  • Language and the Learner (workshop tutor/lecturer)

Semester 2, 2016-2017:

  • Planning Research (Course Organiser/workshop tutor/lecturer)
  • Investigating Individual Learner Differences (Course Organiser/workshop tutor/lecturer)

Research summary

  • language learning motivation, specifically in Anglophone contexts
  • issues of identity in the language classroom
  • perceptions of English as a global language
  • teacher education - the theory-practice nexus

Current and recent research

I am currently involved with an ESRC-funded project entitled 'Speak Global', in collaboration with partners at the University of York and the Open University. We have developed and piloted intervention sessions for late-primary/early-secondary pupils throughout the United Kingdom, on the themes of global patterns of language use, and cognitive benefits of bilingualism. The primary aim is to raise students' awareness of and critical thinking towards the perceived global dominance of English as a lingua franca, and the relative value and role of other languages throughout the world. The eventual goal of delivering such instruction and awareness-raising is to make a positive contribution to language learning motivation among United Kingdom pupils, as well as raise the status of the wealth of home languages in usage by millions of pupils across the country.

I am also involved with a project funded by University of Hong Kong seed funding, entitled 'Tracking understandings of language teaching on a one year Masters programme and beyond', exploring the relationship between postgraduate teacher training, and teaching practice, in different sociocultural contexts.

Selected Publications

  • Gayton, A. (2016). A context-specific approach to L2 motivation in Anglophone settings: A first step towards theory development. Language Learning Journal.
  • Gayton, A. (2016). Perceptions about the dominance of English as a global language: Impact upon foreign language teachers’ professional identity. Journal of Language, Identity and Education.
  • Lanvers, U., Hultgren, K. & Gayton, A. (under review). ‘People can be smarter with two languages’: Changing Anglophone students’ attitudes to language learning through teaching linguistics. Language Learning Journal.

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Gayton, A. & Hennebry, M. (2015). Motivation and medium of instruction in Hong Kong. British Association of Applied Linguistics (Special Interest Group – Languages of Language Learning), July 2nd- 3rd, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
  • Gayton, A (2014) ‘Brokered investment’ – reconceptualising language learning investment for the foreign language classroom context', September 4th - 6th, Warwick University, United Kingdom
  • Gayton, A (2012) ‘English as a global language, and global opportunities’, British Association of Applied Linguistics, September 5th – 7th, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Gayton, A (2012) ‘Gender, socioeconomic status, and language: how can lessons from sociolinguistics inform classroom language practitioners?’, IGALA 7, June 20th – 22nd, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil
  • Gayton, A (2010) ‘“German’s a more macho language”: teachers’ accounts of their pupils’ gendered associations with foreign language learning’, IGALA 6, September 18th – 20th, Tsuda College, Tokyo, Japan