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Dr Maya Gunawardena

Maya GunawardenaPosition

Assistant Professor - Teacher and Community Education

Contact details

T: +61 2 62015174
L: Building 6 Room D5

Click to view Dr Maya Gunawardena's Research profile


Maya currently works as an Assistant Professor of teacher education at University of Canberra. She formerly worked as a lecturer in the Learning and Teaching Group at UNSW Canberra. She has 30 years of teaching experience in diverse teaching contexts such as teacher education in Sri Lanka, teaching in the ACT public schools and teaching at Canberra Institute of Technology.

Maya obtained her PhD in Education from University Canberra. She obtained her master’s degree in Language Teaching from University of Lancaster, UK and master’s in Linguistics from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. She currently researches and publishes in the fields of teacher education, applied linguistics, and literacy and TESOL teaching.

Recent peer-reviewed publications:

  1. Gunawardena, M. (2019). Pedagogies for scaffolding thinking in ESL: Integrating first principles of learning. In Li Li. Thinking skills and creativity in second language education: case studies from international perspectives. Routledge: UK
  2. Devereux, L., Wilson, K., Kiley, A, & Gunawardena, M. (2018). The proof of the pudding … analysing student written texts for evidence of a successful literacy Intervention. Journal of Academic Language Learning, 12 (1). 239-253
  3. Gunawardena, M., Sooriyampola, M. & Walisundara, N. (2017).  Scaffolding thinking in ESL lessons: Negotiation of challenges. Journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity. 24, 279-285
  4. Gunawardena, M. (2017). Insights and implications from the literacy teaching models. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies, 5 (1), 94-100.
  5. Ranawake, G., Gunawardena, M. & Wilson, K. (2017). Teaching academic literacy in disciplinary contexts: Insights and implications from a discourse study; International Journal of Learning and Teaching.
  6. Gunawardena, M. (2016). Macro and micro strategies to stimulate students’ criticality. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), 7 (2) 2726 – 2734.
  7. Gunawardena, M. (2015). Disciplinary enculturation in Critical thinking: Do we adopt a strategic approach? (pp. 111-117). KDU International Research conference, Management Social Science and Humanities. Conference proceedings.
  8. Petraki, E & Gunawardena, M. (2015). The key ingredients of an effective grammar lesson: Perceptions from high school ESL students. Asian EFL Journal. vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 59 - 84.
  9. Gunawardena, M. (2014). Developing effective pedagogies for grammar: The two in one approach. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 8 (3), 100-106.
  10. Gunawardena, M. & Petraki, E. (2014). Critical thinking in the EAP classroom: Tensions and challenges in the Sri Lankan context (pp. 65-72). In Liyanage, I.  & Walker, T. Globalizing EAP practice:  Negotiating tensions and challenges (Eds). Sense Publishers: Australia.
  11. Petraki, E. & Gunawardena, M. (2014).  A tale of two cities: investigating teachers and students’ beliefs on grammar pedagogy in English language teaching. Free Linguistics Conference 2013, conference proceedings: The Hong Kong Polytech University: Hong Kong.

Recent conference presentations

  1. Gunwardena, M. (8th July 2019). Wondering, pondering and enlightening: an approach to foster values in the primary school. International conference on Education and social sciences: Global Academic Institute, Paris
  2. Gunawardena, M. Promoting thinking skills in teaching ESL; 42nd Annual International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning: Nagoya, Japan, 28th November 2016.
  3. Forsyth, M., Gunawardena, M & Devereux, L (2016). Theory into practice: peer learning, peer mentoring and work integrated learning, Learning and Teaching, 4th May, UNSW Canberra.
  4. Gunawardena, M. (2015). Implications and insights from literacy teaching practice. NACADA International conference.  26th June, University of Melbourne.
  5. Gunawardena, M. (2015). Peer to Peer Instruction. Learning and Teaching Day, 6th May, UNSW Canberra.
  6. Gunawardena, M. (2015). Peer instruction and intervention in teaching academic literacy practices. Biennial AALL conference. Wollongong University. 25th November.
  7. Gunawardena, M. (2014).Disciplinary enculturation in critical thinking:   Developing effective pedagogies and assessment strategies. A paper presented at the Canadian International Education Conference, Cape Briton University Nova Scotia, Canada. Thursday 26th June 2014.
  8. Gunawardena, M & Ranawake, G. (2014). First year students’ difficulties in writing science. University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Saturday 5th  July 2014.
  9. Gunawardena, M. (2014) Disciplinary enculturation in critical thinking: Do we adopt a strategic approach? International research conference 2014. Kothalawala Defence University, Sri Lanka. Friday 22nd August 2014.
  10. Gunawardena, M & Akbari, N. (2014). A pragmatic approach to enhance writer-reader interaction in thesis writing. HDR Writing conference. University of Sydney.  Friday 3rd October 2014
  11. Gunawardena, M & Akbari, N (2014). Reader-writer interaction in thesis writing, Symposium on Embedding Language Development, Academic Literacy and Numeracy in Higher Education Curriculum and Teaching Practice. Queensland University of Technology. Friday  28th November