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Ms Caroline Conlon
Ms Caroline Conlon profile picture
Appointment
  • Associate Professor (Teaching)
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education
Biography

I graduated with a Languages PGCE from the Institute of Education in 1987. After working as a Languages teacher in London schools for 12 years, I went on to further study and then worked with the Widening Participation team at King's College, University of London.  In 2004, I joined the Languages in Education team at CILT, the National Centre for Languages, where I was involved in a number of national and regional projects to support the development of both KS2 and KS3 Languages across London's 33 Local Authorities.  I also taught on the CILT Graduate Teaching Programme (GTP) before moving to UCL IOE in the autumn of 2011.  

Since 2011, I have been a Lecturer in Languages in Education at UCL IOE, where I teach on both the PGCE Languages and Master of Teaching Programmes, supporting new and experienced teachers in the development of their practice.

In June 2018, I became the Subject Leader  PGCE Languages course, with its team of seven tutors and 75-85 Student Teachers.  As Subject Leader, I have overseen the successful qualification of 229 Student Teachers.  I monitor the Languages Initial Teacher Education (ITE) staffing across several programmes.  I led the MTeach module ‘Understanding Teaching’ for 40 teachers in 2020, all practising teachers from Early Years through to Adult Education.  

On both programmes, research informs my practice as I encourage student and more experienced teachers to explore their own practice informed by advances in theory, but always grounded in their classroom experiences.  Our university-school partnerships foster reflective practice, underpinned by a spirit of exploration and experimentation.  I teach face-to-face and remotely, monitor on-line discussions, supervise PGCE Student Teachers on their two school placements, and support all with a wide range of Master’s level research that culminates in assignments, reports and dissertations. 

I was external examiner for the PGCE languages programme at Bath Spa University from 2016-2020 and took up the same role at Portsmouth University in the autumn of 2020.  I have also volunteered as a school governor in both primary and secondary schools where I led Curriculum Committees.  

I speak German, French and Spanish.



Research Summary

Working in Languages education for over 30 years, I remain fascinated by what constitutes success in our secondary school classrooms.  In preparation for my chapter 'Making the most of the mixed-experience Year 7 classroom' in 'Success Stories from Secondary FL Classrooms' (see Publications), I carried out an action research project with the Subject Mentor at an inner city UCL partnership school.

I am always keen to share my knowledge when invited to do so:

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/nov/05/in-pursuit-of-a-polyglot-nation

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/mar/20/teaching-faces-a-recruitment-challenge-but-it-will-come-back-around-it-has-to

Teaching Summary

Knowing what a difference excellent teachers and teaching can make has underpinned my own career in education where I have always striven to work at a consistently high standard, to lead and develop best practice at local, national and international levels.

At local level, I was a classroom teacher before becoming a Head of Languages in a large secondary school in Haringey.  My time at CILT, the National Centre for Languages allowed me to teach Languages teachers, advisors and consultants at national level.  My contribution to the CILT GTP introduced me to Initial teacher Education and Training at national level too.  I have taught in an international context in Germany, Spain, France and China.  In 2018 and 2019, I co-wrote and delivered a teacher training programme in seven universities across China as we prepared colleagues there to receive year 8 learners from the UK as part of UCL’s DFE-funded Mandarin Excellence programme (MEP). I prepared for that with a summer beginner’s course in Mandarin in Beijing in 2017: https://ci.ioe.ac.uk/pgce-tutors-beijing-blog/ Teaching is most definitely about life-long learning!


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