Department of Education

Robert Woore

Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics

Robert is Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics and lead tutor for the Modern Languages PGCE course. His main research interests centre on instructed foreign language learning and teaching, particularly in school settings. He is interested in particular in the development of reading skills and strategies, the role of phonology in reading and the teaching of phonics. He is passionate about building stronger links between research and classroom practice, and is a team member of the NCELP (National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy).

Robert teaches and supervises on the PGCE, MSc ALSLA, MSc ALLT, Masters in Learning and Teaching and doctoral programmes. He is a member of the Applied Linguistics, Teaching and Teacher Education and Subject Pedagogy research groups.

Robert obtained an Honours degree in Modern Languages (French and German), an MPhil in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology, an MSc in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition, an MSc in Educational Research Methods and a DPhil in Applied Linguistics at the University of Oxford. After completing a PGCE in Modern Languages at the University of Sheffield in 1998, he worked as a secondary school teacher of French, German and Outdoor Education before joining the department in 2007.

Robert would particularly welcome doctoral applications from students interested in the following topics:

  • The learning and teaching of foreign languages in instructed settings, particularly in respect of reading skills and strategies, phonology and motivation.
  • Teaching phonics in a foreign language context
  • The development of second language (L2) phonological decoding (print-to-sound conversion) in learners of a range of different L2s and with a range of L1 backgrounds
  • The impact of L2 phonological decoding on other aspects of L2 learning, such as vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension, motivation, listening comprehension and speaking.
  • The learning and teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language

Funded Research Projects:

  • FLEUR (Foreign Language Education: Unlocking Reading)

    September 2016 - September 2018

    Role: Principal Investigator; Funder: The Nuffield Foundation

  • Online Language Learning for All (OLLA): developing a catalogue of accessible online resources to support students’ foreign language learning beyond the classroom in times of COVID-19

  • July - September 2020

    Role: Principal Investigator; Funder: ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

  • Foreign language learning and its impact on wider academic outcomes: A rapid evidence assessment

  • September 2019 - January 2020

    Role: Co-Investigator; Funder: Education Endowment Foundation

  • Consolidating the evidence base for MFL curriculum, pedagogy and assessment reform at GCSE: An investigation of pupils' and teachers' views

  • January - May 2020

    Role: Co-Principal Investigator; Funder: UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund

  • Learning and teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language: a systematic review of research evidence

  • November 2017 - June 2018

    Role: Principal Investigator; Funder: OU Department of Education Small Grants Committee

  • A Pedagogical Assessment System to support Modern Foreign Language learning: a proof of concept trial

  • September 2015 - June 2016

    Role: Principal Investigator; Funder: University of Oxford John Fell Fund

Publications:

  • Featured Publications

    • WOORE, R, Graham, S, Porter, A, Courtney, L, SAVORY, C (2018) Foreign Language Education: Unlocking Reading (FLEUR) - A study into the teaching of reading to beginner learners of French in secondary school.

    • Woore, R (2016) “Learners’ pronunciations of familiar and unfamiliar French words: what can they tell us about phonological decoding in an L2?”, Language Learning Journal. Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2016.1161062

    • Macaro, E, Graham, S, Woore, R (2015) Improving foreign language teaching: Towards a research-based curriculum and pedagogy. London: Routledge.

    • Woore, R (2014) “Beginner learners' progress in decoding L2 French: Transfer effects in typologically similar L1-L2 writing systems”, Writing Systems Research.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/17586801.2013.838536

    • Mutton, T, Woore, R (2014) “Designing tasks to promote learning in the foreign language classroom”, In: I Thompson (ed.) Designing tasks in secondary education: Enhancing subject understanding and student engagement. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Books

    • Macaro, E, Graham, S, Woore, R (2015) Improving foreign language teaching: Towards a research-based curriculum and pedagogy. London: Routledge.

  • Book chapters

    • MOLWAY, LJ, MUTTON, T, WOORE, R, Porter, K (2018) “What are the possibilities and limitations of small-scale, mediated classroom interventions? Two cases from Modern Foreign Languages”, In: G STYLIANIDES, A CHILDS (eds.) Classroom-based Interventions Across Subject Areas: Research to Understand What Works in Education. Abingdon: Routledge.

    • Woore, R (2014) “Developing reading and decoding in the modern foreign languages classroom”, In: Debates in Modern Languages Education. 81-95
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9781315856551

    • Mutton, T, Woore, R (2014) “Designing tasks to promote learning in the foreign language classroom”, In: I Thompson (ed.) Designing tasks in secondary education: Enhancing subject understanding and student engagement. Abingdon: Routledge.

    • Mutton, TA, Woore, R (2014) “Promoting Learning: Task design in the Foreign Language classroom”, In: I Thompson (ed.) Designing Tasks in Secondary Education: Enhancing subject understanding and student engagement. Routledge.

  • Conference papers

    • CHAN, J, MOLWAY, L, MUTTON, T, WOORE, R (2020) “Learning and teaching Chinese as a foreign language: A systematic review”, American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco.

    • Molway, L, Mutton, T, Woore, R (2015) Professional learning through a subject-specific Masters programme: engaging with and in research to develop teachers’ epistemological beliefs and classroom practice. (Queen’s University, Belfast)

    • Woore, R (2010) Developing learner autonomy through strategies. (British Academy, London)

    • Woore, R Decoding, vocabulary learning and vocabulary learning strategies in beginners’ L2 French. (University of Amsterdam) 28-31.

    • Woore, R Decoding, vocabulary learning and vocabulary memorization strategies in beginners’ L2 French. (St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham)

    • Woore, R Decoding L2 French: explicit instruction and beginner learners’ progress. (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland)

    • Woore, R Decoding L2 French at Key Stage 3: Toward developing learners’ strategies. (Manchester)

    • Woore, R, Molway, L, Mutton, T Using professional enquiry to develop teachers’ epistemological beliefs within a subject-specific MFL Masters level programme. (Queen’s University Belfast)

    • Woore, R ‘Effects of word familiarity and L1-homographic spellings on phonological decoding: The case of English-speaking secondary school students learning French’. (University of Aix-Marseille)

    • Woore, R ‘Insights into secondary school students’ phonological decoding in L2 French: Effects of word familiarity and interlingual homographs’. (University of Edinburgh)

    • Woore, R Decoding L2 French: explicit instruction and beginner learners’ progress. (University of Oxford, Department of Education)

  • Journal articles

    • Arndt, HL, Woore, R (2018) “Vocabulary learning from watching Youtube videos and reading blog posts”, Language Learning & Technology.

    • Woore, R (2016) “Learners’ pronunciations of familiar and unfamiliar French words: what can they tell us about phonological decoding in an L2?”, Language Learning Journal.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2016.1161062

    • Woore, R (2014) “Beginner learners' progress in decoding L2 French: Transfer effects in typologically similar L1-L2 writing systems”, Writing Systems Research. 6(2) 167-189.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/17586801.2013.838536

    • Woore, R (2013) “Beginner learners' progress in decoding L2 French: Transfer effects in typologically similar L1-L2 writing systems”, Writing Systems Research.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/17586801.2013.838536

    • Woore, R (2010) “Thinking aloud about L2 decoding: An exploration of the strategies used by beginner learners when pronouncing unfamiliar French words”, Language Learning Journal. 38(1) 3-17.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/09571730903545210

    • Woore, R (2009) “Beginners' progress in decoding L2 French: Some longitudinal evidence from English modern foreign languages classrooms”, Language Learning Journal. 37(1) 3-18.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/09571730902717398

    • Woore, R (2007) “'Weisse Maus in meinem Haus': Using poems and learner strategies to help learners decode the sounds of the L2”, Language Learning Journal. 35(2) 175-188.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/09571730701599211

    • Woore, R “Book Review: Amanda Howard and Helen Donaghue (eds.) (2015) Teacher Evaluation in Second Language Education. London, New York: Bloomsbury”, International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 26(1) 120-124.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/ijal.12142

    • WOORE, R, MUTTON, T, MOLWAY, L “‘It's definitely part of who I am in the role’. Developing teachers' research engagement through a subject-specific Master's programme”, Teacher Development.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/13664530.2019.1693421

    • BLÁZQUEZ CARRETERO, M, WOORE, R “Can a 'pedagogical' spellchecker improve spelling accuracy in L2 Spanish?”, Language Learning and Technology.

    • Graham, S, WOORE, R, Porter, A, Courtney, A, SAVORY, C “Navigating the challenges of L2 reading: Self-efficacy, self-regulatory reading strategies and learner profiles”, Modern Language Journal: devoted to research and discussion about the learning and teaching of foreign and second languages.

  • Posters

    • Woore, R, Li, S (2014) Second language decoding, word learning and vocabulary learning strategies: an exploratory study of advanced Chinese learners of L2 English.

  • Reports

    • MURPHY, V, ARNDT, H, BRIGGS BAFFOE-DJAN, J, CHALMERS, H, Macaro, E, ROSE, H, VANDERPLANK, R, WOORE, R (2020) Foreign language learning and its impact on wider academic outcomes: A rapid evidence assessment.

    • WOORE, R, Graham, S, Porter, A, Courtney, L, SAVORY, C (2018) Foreign Language Education: Unlocking Reading (FLEUR) - A study into the teaching of reading to beginner learners of French in secondary school.

    • Woore, R (2015) “Madrid, a Bilingual Community: a view from the classroom”, In: Unpublished report for EMI Oxford: Centre for Research and Development on English Medium Instruction.

  • Theses & dissertations

    • Woore, R (2011) Investigating and developing beginner learners’ decoding proficiency in second language French: An evaluation of two programmes of instruction.

    • Woore, R (2006) Investigating beginner learners’ decoding of second language French: methodological issues and some preliminary substantive findings.

    • Woore, R (2004) Developing and applying knowledge of L2 grapheme – phoneme correspondences amongst beginner learners of German.

  • Other

    • Woore, R Developing and applying knowledge of L2 grapheme – phoneme correspondences amongst beginner learners of German. University of Oxford.

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