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Dr. Ruth Fielding

Ruth Fielding


Assistant Professor, TESOL and Foreign Language Teaching

Contact Details

Bldg, Floor & Room: 20, C7
Tel: (02) 6201 2273
Facsimile: (02) 6201 2630


Ruth Fielding is Assistant Professor of TESOL and Foreign Language Teaching at the University of Canberra. She teaches within the MA TESOL program and within undergraduate linguistics units of study and is currently the Course Convener for the MA TESOL. She is unit convener for the unit Language, Cultures and Communication. Previously Ruth worked as a Lecturer at the University of Sydney from 2010-2014 where she coordinated units in the languages teacher education program and in the MEd TESOL program on bilingualism. Prior to that she worked as a sessional lecturer from 2006- 2009 in the same areas of study.

Ruth began her career as a teacher of French and German at secondary level, before taking time away from teaching to undertake her PhD. Her PhD focussed on exploring issues of bilingual identity for young learners in a bilingual program who also have other languages in the home. She has a forthcoming book with Springer based upon this project.

As a postdoctoral researcher Ruth has undertaken collaborative research with Assoc Prof Lesley Harbon at the University of Sydney examining the four bilingual programs implemented by the NSW State Government since 2009 in Chinese, Korean, Indonesian and Japanese. This research is continuing under a new project exploring the pedagogies, and the learning outcomes of students in these programs. She has also undertaken research with Dr Robyn Moloney (Macquarie) and A/Prof Lesley Harbon (Sydney) exploring IRE turn variations as possible intercultural pedagogy in the languages classroom, she has also undertaken research exploring the transition experiences of learners from secondary to tertiary language learning and research exploring primary language teachers' experiences of the reality of language teaching in their first years of teaching.

Ruth has recently travelled as a visiting scholar to the University of Bristol's Graduate School of Education and the Universitӓt des Saarlandes to explore research collaborations with colleagues there building upon joint interests in language, identity, migration and related issues for young people.

Areas of Teaching

  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Language and culture/ Intercultural communication
  • Bilingualism
  • Bilingual education

Research Interests

  • Bilingualism
  • Bilingual education
  • CLIL and immersion education
  • Identity and language
  • Language and culture
  • Intercultural language learning

Qualifications Obtained

  • PhD (Sydney)
  • Grad Cert: Higher Education (Sydney)
  • BA (Sydney)
  • BEd Hons (Sydney)

Multilingualism in the Australian Suburbs Cover 

Recent Publications 

  • Fielding, R. 2015. Multilingualism in the Australian Suburbs: A framework for exploring bilingual identity, Dordrecht/ Singapore: Springer.
  • Fielding, R. 2015. Exploring success and sustainability in New South Wales Independent Schools. Sydney: Association of Independent Schools NSW. 
  • Fielding, R. & Harbon, L. 2014. Implementing a Content and Language Integrated Learning Program (CLIL) in NSW: Teacher perceptions of the challenges and opportunities, Babel, 49:2, 4-15.
  • Fielding, R. & Harbon, L. (2013). Examining Bilingual and Bicultural Identity in Young Students, Foreign Language Annals, Winter 46-4
  • Fielding, R. (2013). Considering Biliteracy and Multiliteracies in the Primary Classroom. In Johnston, J. (Ed. 2nd Edition), Contemporary Issues in Australian Literacy Teaching Brisbane: AACLM/ Primrose Hall Publishing Group, pp141 - 158. 
  • Fielding, R. (2013). Bilingual Identity Negotiation in practice: Teacher pedagogy and classroom interaction in a bilingual program. Language Learning Journal. DOI:10.1080/09571736.2012.757635
  • Fielding, R. (2013). Review: A. Pennycook, Language and Mobility: Unexpected places. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 36(1), 116–119.
  • Harbon, L. & Fielding, R. (2013). Bilingual education programs in four primary schools in New South Wales, 2009-2012: A report to continue the conversation, Sydney.
  • Fielding, R. (2012). Learning locally, identifying globally: Student views about their languages and being bilingual, In Gitsaki, C. & Baldauf, R. (Eds) The future of applied linguistics: Local and global perspectives. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Fielding, R. (2012). Considering Biliteracy and Multiliteracies in the Primary Classroom. In Johnston, J. (Ed.), Contemporary Issues in Australian Literacy Teaching Brisbane: AACLM/ Primrose Hall Publishing Group. 
  • Fielding, R. & Stott, C. (2012). University Language Learners: Perceptions of the Transition from School to University. In Mortimer, R. The International First Year in Higher Education Conference Proceedings 2012: New Horizons. Brisbane, 26-29 June 2012.
  • Moloney, R., Harbon, L. & Fielding, R. (2012). Varying the IRE turn: Preservice language teachers adopting an intercultural stance in their pedagogy pp 488-507. In Aishah M.K., Chan, W.M., Chi, S.W., Chin, K.N., Istanto, J.W., Nagami, M., Sew, J.W., Suthiwan, T., Walker, I. Culture in foreign language learning: Framing and reframing the issue. Singapore: NUS Centre for Language Studies.
  • Harbon, L., Fielding, R., Moloney, R., Scrimgeour, A., Kohler, M., Dashwood, A. & Gearon, M. (2012). Longtime passing: where does the time for preparing language teachers go? In LCNAU Colloquium Proceedings 2011 The Next Step: Introducing the Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities.
  • Fielding, R. (2011). "I Sort of Feel Like I'm a Part of France Aswell" Student perspectives of bilingual identity, Babel – Journal of the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teacher Associations, Vol 46, No 1.
  • Laws, K., Harbon, L. & Fielding, R. (Eds.)  (2011). Teacher Professional Development in Southeast Asia: Perspectives from Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Sydney: Can Tho University.
  • Fielding, R. (2009) 'Student Negotiation of Bilingual Identity' In S. May (Ed) Language Education and Diversity (LED) 2007 Refereed Conference Proceedings, University of Waikato, New Zealand.
  • Fielding, R. (2009) Speaking Two Languages is a Gift: A Case Study Exploring Student Bilingual Identity, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Sydney.
  • Westwood, R. (2005) 'What Do Schools Want in a Language Teacher', Babel, Vol 40, No 2.


  • 2015: Department of Education and Communities NSW. Assessing student learning outcomes in language and content in NSW primary CLIL programs. 
  • 2014 AIS NSW Grant to explore sustainable language programs in NSW independent schools
  • 2013-14 DEC NSW Grant for Bilingual Program Research– in collaborationwith A/Prof L Harbon.
  • 2013 Early Career Researcher Travel Grant  - University of Sydney Education and Social Work Faculty competitive grant
  • 2012  International Program Development Fund Grant for 2013-2014 for ECR mobility: (Sole applicant to collaborate with two international collaborators – University of Bristol and University of Southampton) University of Sydney as part of the World Universities Network
  • 2012  Early Career Researcher Travel Grant – Faculty competitive grant – University of Sydney.
  • 2011  Teaching Inquiry Grant  - with A/Prof Harbon and Ms Steigrad to investigate current teaching, University of Sydney.
  • 2011/2012 Faculty Research Grant - with A/Prof Harbon to research in 4 bilingual primary schools and research with the pre-service primary language teachers, University of Sydney.
  • 2008 Trevor Miller Memorial Fund Scholarship – Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney – in support of travel to present a paper at the AILA Conference 2008 (Germany).
  • 2008 PRSS (Postgraduate Research Support Scheme) Funding – to cover the remaining costs of the flight to the AILA conference 2008.
  • 2007 ALAA (Applied Linguistics Association of Australia) Travel Scholarship – Travel and Conference costs to present at their conference (Wollongong).


  • 2011 Faculty of Education and Social Work (University of Sydney) Excellence in Teaching Award - Faculty competitive award acknowledging excellence in teaching.
  • 2010 Michael Clyne Prize for the best research thesis in the area of bilingualism and language contact - jointly awarded by the Australian Linguistic Society and the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia.
  • 2008-2009 UPA (University Postgraduate Award) Scholarship - Co-funded by the University of Sydney and DEEWR.

Current Research Projects

An exploration of successful and sustainable language programs in NSW independent schools (in conjunction with AIS NSW – to begin late 2014)

Exploring the NSW DEC-funded bilingual primary school programs for Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and Korean – exploring classroom pedagogies and language use (with A/Prof Lesley Harbon)

An examination of pre-service teachers' use of the IRE variation as an intercultural pedagogical took (with colleagues from Macquarie University and the University of Sydney)


Media Coverage



Executive Committee Member - Modern Language Teachers' Association NSW

Member - ACTFL (American Council on the teaching of Foreign Languages)