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School Advisers

CRiCLE-Net: School Research Advisory Board

Jeong-ae Ahn

Jeong-ae Ahn          Korean

Mrs Jeong-ae Ahn has a BA in English Language and Literature with a second degree in Teaching English at Kyunhee University, Seoul, South Korea. She also did an MA in Applied Linguistics at Birmingham University, UK. Currently, she works at the Ministry of Justice, UK as her main job along with her charity work at Cambridge Korean School as a head teacher and trustee. She has improved the status of the Cambridge Korean School from an unincorporated association into a limited company by guarantee and a registered charity in order to fully support the school’s role as a supplementary community educational organisation in the UK. She works as a self-employed translator and interpreter. Her main research interest lies in bilingualism and pedagogy focussing on socio-cultural, genetic and mental health aspects.

Agnieszka Ciepiela

Agnieszka Ciepiela         EAL/Polish

Agnieszka is Head of Minorities Achievement and Attainment Services (MAAS) at Norfolk Integrated Education Advisory Services. MAAS works strategically to help schools build their capacity to improve standards and narrow the attainment gap for their minority ethnic pupils. Agnieszka holds an MA degree with Honours in English Language Didactics from Academy of Humanities and a BA degree in English Philology from Jagiellonian University. Agnieszka is an accredited LiLAC/TESMC tutor (Teaching ESL students in mainstream classrooms) awarded by Government of South Australia, Department for Education and Child Development. Agnieszka has been awarded National Professional Middle Leader Qualification (NPQML) by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. Agnieszka has taught English, EAL, and has been a head of department in an inner London school. She has also worked as an EAL advisory teacher in two LEAs. She specialises in teaching EAL.

Rose Elgar

Rose Elgar          EAL

Rose trained as a teacher at Christ Church College, Canterbury, and spent two years with VSO training English teachers at the University of Dong Dok, Vientiane. She completed an MA in Applied Linguistics at the Institute of Education, London and then worked in Milan teaching bespoke courses on English for Special Purposes. While working in a multilingual secondary school in east London, she gained the RSA diploma in teaching ESL with distinction and contributed to the ILEA’s Centre for Urban Education Studies publication, Bilingual Learners in Secondary Schools (1989). In Calderdale, Rose delivered in-class support, training and advice for primary and secondary schools on including learners of EAL in lessons. Rose has worked in a similar role for Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service since 1995.

Anke Friedrich

Anke Friedrich          German

Dr. Anke Friedrich is the co-founder of the German Saturday School Cambridge which she led for 5 years. While working on a CertHE in Charity and Social Enterprise Management from Anglia Ruskin University she became interested in the general landscape of and provision for community language groups in the UK, and Cambridge in particular. After coaching the set-up of new groups and based on this experience Anke started a little initiative called Cambridge Bilingual Groups. At present the main focus is to buy-in teacher training and exchange experience concerning management. Anke holds a PhD in neuroscience and has worked for a number of years in the field of memory formation at German, US and English Universities. At present she is working for an educational trust as schools science partnership coordinator.

Yan Gao          Chinese

Yan Gao is teacher-in-charge of Chinese at St. Mary's Senior School and teaches part-time at King’s College School, both based in Cambridge. With a BA in English and an MA in English Linguistics before coming to the UK, she completed her MEd in TESOL at Exeter University. Yan has many years of language teaching experience. She is a qualified Cambridge CELTA teacher and has worked on the EAP programmes at Portsmouth and Exeter Universities. At Cambridge, she co-authored the DfE funded MILO on-line Chinese courses led by Cambridge University’s Language Centre and has taught writing and translation on the Chinese Tripos programme at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Her research interests include teaching Chinese characters, new technology in language teaching, Chinese as a community/heritage language.

Rachel Hawkes

Rachel Hawkes          French/MFL

Dr. Rachel Hawkes is a classroom teacher of languages at Comberton Village College in Cambridgeshire with further roles including Assistant Principal, Advanced Skills Teacher, Specialist Schools Trust Advanced Lead Practitioner, Languages Advisor for TES Resources, and former Regional Subject Advisor for the new secondary languages curriculum. She provides CPD to teachers on many aspects of languages teaching and leadership nationally, regionally and locally. Particular areas of interest and expertise include: maximising achievement in MFL; use of music, rhythm, song and movement in MFL; using the target language spontaneously; use of existing and new technologies in language learning; enhanced memory techniques; thinking skills; primary language teaching and Assessment for Learning. She has a PhD from Cambridge University, focusing on teacher and learner interaction in the secondary languages classroom. She is a past president of Association of Language Learning.

Irena Kell

Irena Kell          Russian

Dr. Irena Kell is Head of Studies at the Cambridge Russian Academy and previously had a similar role at the Cambridge Russian School, one of the largest Russian community schools in the UK. She has developed the curriculum for both native and non-native speakers from beginners to advanced learners across all age groups. Irena also teaches the Russian IB course at a local Sixth Form college, is a senior examiner for a leading UK examination board and works as a consultant to Cambridge University International Examinations. She has spoken on her work at a number of conferences across Europe. Prior to coming to the UK, Irena worked as a University Lecturer in Russia, publishing many research papers in Linguistics. Irena’s current research interests are language development in bilingual children and methods of teaching in community schools.

Emel Kilickaya

Emel Kilickaya          Turkish/Arabic

Emel Kilickaya came to the UK in 2007 as a language assistant, through the Comenius Programme, soon after graduating with a degree in Early Childhood Education at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey. Upon completing the programme, she was employed by the same school as a language assistant to support EAL students in their language and psychological development and lead the Turkish culture club. Emel had worked collaboratively with the EAL department of Suffolk County Council to support Turkish speaking children, and established a supplementary school for children from ethnic minority groups. She currently leads Red Roses Weekend School in Ipswich as the headteacher. Her main research and professional interest is to work on the positive impacts of teaching home languages on bilingual children. She is a social entrepreneur, and plays an active role in organising community events and participating in the charitable activities within Suffolk.

Hugh Michell

Hugh Michell          Italian/MFL

Hugh Michell is Head of Italian and teacher of French at Hockerill Anglo-European College in Bishop’s Stortford. As an IB World School, it has a number of international students who are supported in maintaining education in their mother tongue as well as developing their English skills. The school also offers a well-established CLIL programme with History and Geography taught in French and German. He completed a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages at the University of Cambridge during which he researched the effects of videoconferencing with a French school on students' perceptions of culture and language. His Master of Education thesis then focused on students' motivation to write in a foreign language, taking into account individual preferences, the school context and variations in the prescribed curriculum.

Rob  Neal

Rob Neal          Chinese/MFL

After graduating from the University of Birmingham (BA Hons: French and German), Rob spent two years in Japan where he worked as an assistant English teacher. He then completed a Masters degree in TESOL at Lancaster University before teaching English for two and a half years at Peking University. Upon returning to England he did a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages at Sheffield University and currently teaches Mandarin at an inner city school in Manchester where most of the students are from minority ethnic backgrounds. He is currently studying for an MEd/PhD at Cambridge University where he is researching why the acquisition of Mandarin tones is so challenging for Anglophone learners. He has been involved in the 'Our Languages' Project which emphasizes collaboration between 'mainstream' and 'community' schools.

Mahbub Rehman

Mahbubur Rahman          Bengali/Hindi/Urdu

Dr. Mahbubur Rahman has beee working at CREDS (Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service) in Cambridgeshire County Council since 1994. CREDS works with schools, communities, parents, carers and Children, Adults and Family Service to support Black, Minority Ethnic (BME), Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children and young people including EAL learners. Mahbubur holds an MSc in Psychology from Dhaka University, Bangladesh and a PhD in Psychology from Delhi University, India. In 2005 he established grant-funded community language classes and has created opportunities for taking GCSE exams in various community languages in Cambridgeshire. He was an active participant in a multilateral European project and has coordinated three bilateral Comenius Regio projects. His current areas of interest include the role of new technology in language learning, multilingualism, culture and identity.

Anna-Maria Norman

Anna-Maria Norman          Polish

Anna-Maria (Ania) Norman is Director of the Polish Saturday School, one of the oldest and largest community schools in Cambridge. She studied English Philology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and Intercultural Studies at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. She has taught at the Polish Saturday School in Cambridge since 1989, working with groups of various ages and levels. Her main responsibility is overseeing the teaching and administration of the school. She has also taught Polish on adult education courses and run English classes for immigrants. Her current research and professional interests include linguistic and cultural problems faced by migrants - adults and minors alike, as well as the challenges of a multicultural society to the individual learner and the community. 

Bethan Rees

Bethan Rees          Race, Equality, Diversity

Bethan Rees is the manager of Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service (CREDS), a Local Authority education service that works with schools and other services to increase the participation and achievement in education of Black, Minority Ethnic (BME) and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children, young people and families, including those who have English as an additional language (EAL). CREDS offers bilingual support for newly-arrived pupils in schools in over twenty languages and also provides an interpreting service for schools and families. Bethan has an MA Honours degree from the University of Cambridge in Modern and Medieval Languages, the RSA in TES/FL and a PGCE in EAL, linguistics and modern languages. She has responsibility for equalities across the county’s Children, Families and Adults Services. 

Hiroko Roberts-Taira

Hiroko Roberts-Taira          Japanese

Hiroko Roberts-Taira is the administrator at the Kaetsu Educational & Cultural Centre. She graduated from Waseda University (Tokyo) and taught Japanese literature in Japanese high schools. She also taught Japanese as a foreign language in The British School in Tokyo and Sheffield Hallam University & HE (UK). Hiroko founded Nihongo Club for Japanese bilingual children in the Cambridge area in 2002. She also started a Japanese studying group for Japanese bilingual high school students in 2012 and Japanese reading club associated to the International Children’s Bunko Association for young Japanese speakers in 2013. Her current research interests lie in bilingual education, Japanese education in the UK, Japanese community school, language and identity.