Dr Pauline Sangster

Honorary Fellow


I studied English Language and Literature at Edinburgh University before working for fifteen years in several schools in the Edinburgh area. I returned to part-time academic study on a Master's Programme in 1990 in Edinburgh University when I joined the School of Education as a Lecturer in Language Studies, and completed the MEd in 1992. My PhD, completed in 2000, investigated the listening practices of pupils and the teaching practices of teachers within the sociocultural contexts of secondary school English classrooms. I teach on several Masters' programmes and on the School's Generic Research Methods courses. I also teach on the EdD Programme. I am currently the Director of the School's PhD Programme and Co-Director of the EdD Programme.

Moray House PhD Programme


  • MA (Hons) English Language and Literature (Edinburgh University)
  • PGDE (Secondary) (Moray House) English and German (with distinction)
  • Secondary Teaching qualification in Media Education (Edinburgh)
  • MEd (Edinburgh) (with distinction)
  • PhD (Edinburgh)

Areas of interest for supervision

I am happy to supervise research under the headings listed in the research tab. I am currently supervising seven doctoral students in the following areas:

  • Cross-curricular literacies
  • EAL provision in mainstream English classrooms. 
  • Metacognition and listening in 2nd language learning. 
  • Chinese students' transitions into Higher Education in Scotland
  • Critical literacy
  • Extracurricular Activities and Success [The correlation between extracurricular activities, self-worth and success]
  • Gaelic Medium Education in primary 1 and 2 at the Early Stages 

Current PhD students supervised

  • Yvonne Foley- Investigating the reading literacy needs of EAL students in mainstream secondary schools
  • Ning (Alan) Huang- Developing metacognitive awareness in L2 listening
  • Alan Huang- Investigating metacognitive discourse awareness in second language listening
  • Michele Carilo- Intercultural Pedagogies for Portuguese as an Additional Language
  • Jennifer Salfen- Working title: Extracurricular Activities and Success [The correlation between extracurricular activities, self-worth and success]
  • Nurfaradilla Nasri

Past PhD students supervised

  • Kelly Stone- Critical Literacy: an evaluation of provision in one local authority in Scotland

Research summary

I am interested in language education and in teaching practices which lead to effective learning. Specific areas include:

  • literacy, language learning and teaching
  • listening
  • literature and language
  • media literacies
  • critical literacy and critical pedogogies
  • tutoring and reflective practice
  • teacher education

Project activity

I am currently involved in six main areas of personal academic research:

  • The teaching and testing of writing: are they fit for purpose? With Dr Graeme Trousdale, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.
  • Listening within the sociocultural contexts of classrooms
  • Framing pupils' engagement with genres of text: a case study. With Dr Charles Anderson, School of Education
  • Investigating and analysing teachers in training/ tutor conferences. With Dr Charles Anderson, School of Education
  • Early career researchers. With Dr Moira Hulme, Faculty of Education, University of Glasgow
  • EAL and mainstreaming with Yvonne Foley and Dr Charles Anderson, School of Education
  • Student teachers' knowledge about language with Dr Charles Anderson
  • Critical literacy and transformative learning with Dr Kelly Stone
  • Authority relationships between adults and young people across settings with Dr Gale Macleod, Dr Robbie Nicol and Dr Ian Fyfe