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Department of Education

Hamish Chalmers

Course Director MSc ALSLA, Departmental Lecturer

Hamish is the Course Director of the MSc Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition (ALSLA). He lectures and supervises on the MSc Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition (ALSLA) and the MSc Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching (ALLT).

He is director of the International Database of Education Systematic Reviews (, a database of published systematic reviews in Education and a clearinghouse for protocol registration of ongoing and planned systematic reviews. He convenes the REAL (research in EAL) group at the Department. He is Vice-Chair of the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC). He is editor of NALDIC’s blog, and associate editor of the EAL Journal, NALDIC’s professional periodical. He is on the advisory panel for Assessing Claims in Education project in collaboration with the Education Endowment Foundation and the Chartered College of Teaching.

Hamish’s research interest centres on evaluation of pedagogical approaches to teaching children who use English as an Additional Language (EAL). In particular, his research focuses on the use of the first language as a pedagogical tool for multilingual learners in English medium classrooms. His methodological interest is in randomised trials and systematic reviews.


Chalmers, H. & Murphy, V. (in press). Multilingual Learners, linguistic pluralism and implications for education and research. In Macaro, E., & Woore, R. (Eds.) Debates in Second Language Education. Abingdon: Routledge.

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. London: EEF.

Müller, L., Morris, A., Sharples, J., Chislett, J., Rose, N., Chalmers, H. (2020). How to assess claims about cognition and learning: The ACE concepts. Impact, Issue 8, Spring 2020, 60-63.

Chalmers, H. (2019) The Role of the First Language in English Medium Instruction. Oxford:OUP.

Chalmers, H. (2019) Why all the fuss about Randomised Trials? researchED Magazine, February 2019, 13-14.

Chalmers, H. and Crisfield, E. (2019). Drawing on linguistic and cultural capital to create positive learning cultures for EAL learners. Impact, Issue 5, Spring 2019, 40-43.

Chalmers, H. (2017). What does research tell us about using the first language as a pedagogical tool? EAL Journal. Summer, 54-58.

Chalmers, H. (2016). How to … inspire EAL students. Times Educational Supplement. 20 November, 42-43.

Chalmers, H. (2014). Harnessing linguistic diversity in polylingual British curriculum schools. Do L1 mediated home learning tasks improve learning outcomes for bilingual children? A randomised trial. Masters Dissertation. Published online by the British Council.

Chalmers, H. (1999). Did Microsoft commission a fair test of the geographical knowledge of British children? TERSE Report. Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, Durham University.

Funded Research Projects:

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

  • Oct 2019 - Dec 2019

    Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)

  • The International Database of Education Systematic Reviews (

    Feb 2020 - Oct 2020

    John Fell Fund

  • Setting Research Priorities for English as an Additional Language: What do stakeholders want from EAL research?

  • July 2020 - July 2021

    British Association of Applied Linguistics.

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