Dr Susan Gray

PhD, MA, BA, DipELT, DipTchg (Primary)


Before working in teacher education, Susan Gray was a primary and then a secondary teacher at Selwyn College. The questions that arose in her teaching in these multicultural schools are the ones she is still pursuing with teachers in the GradDipTESSOL and in collaborative research with colleagues. She is indebted to Ruth Penton, of the Learning through Language (LTL) professional development programme and Dorothy Brown, of The University of Auckland’s then Diploma in English Language Teaching (DipELT), just some of her inspirational teachers, who showed that many pedagogical problems are solved by a focus on language.

Susan’s research focuses on teacher development in areas of practice and policy pertaining in particular for bilingual students who are learning English as an additional language through participating in the school curriculum (inclusive academic language teaching). She is interested in the ways in which mainstream teachers from all curriculum areas in the secondary school can take an explicit focus on language form in their content teaching. Her primary concern is to identify specific concerns of classroom teachers and link these to wider theoretical issues in the fields of applied linguistics and language learning and teaching. She works within the socio cultural/cultural historical perspective to frame research and interpret findings.

Research | Current


Teaching | Current

  • EDPROFST 227 TESSOL: Language Learning Needs
  • EDPROFST 372 TESSOL: Language Learning through Tasks
  • EDPROFST 373 TESSOL: Language Learning in the New Zealand Context
  • EDPROFST 374 TESSOL: Language Focused Curriculum
  • EDPROFST 379 TESSOL: Materials Design

Postgraduate supervision


Trinh Thi Thu Vu. Developing English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher training for public primary schools in Vietnam: A critical ethnography. PhD (Co-supervisor)


Jones, J. 2010. An ethnographic inquiry into the implementation of the Kenyan language-in-education policy (mother tongue as subject and medium of instruction) in the Sabaot language group. PhD thesis, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Thesis won the 2010 ALANZ (Applied Linguistics Association of New Zealand) Best PhD Thesis Award. (Co-supervisor)


  • Programme Leader GradDipTESSOL
  • Editor TESOLANZ Journal

Areas of expertise

  • Immigration and ESOL provision in New Zealand
  • Language focused content teaching particularly in secondary schools
  • The nature of transitions at different stages of teacher development
  • Teacher development and collaboration

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • TESOLANZ, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Aotearoa/New Zealand  
  • BAAL, British Association of Applied Linguists
  • ALANZ, Applied Linguistics Association of NZ

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Kitchen, M., Gray, S., & Jeurissen, M. (2016). Principals’ Collaborative Roles as Leaders for Learning. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 15 (2), 168-191. 10.1080/15700763.2015.1031255
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30374
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Margaret Kitchen
  • Gray, S. M., Kitchen, M., & Jeurissen, M. (2015). Teacher professional reading in a TESOL programme: Catering for diversity. Paper presented at 4th International Conference on Language, Education and Diversity, Auckland, New Zealand. 24 November - 26 November 2015. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/28205
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Margaret Kitchen
  • Kitchen, M., Jeurissen, M. J., & Gray, S. M. (2015). Primary school teachers' uptake of professional readings: Understanding the factors affecting teachers' learning. New Zealand Journal of Teachers' Work, 12 (1), 63-77. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30900
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Margaret Kitchen
  • Kitchen, M. C., Jeurissen, M., Siilata, R., & Gray, S. (2015). Diversity is a key to unity?. In J. Morgan (Ed.) The 21st Century Curriculum? (pp. 138-151). Auckland, New Zealand: Edify.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Margaret Kitchen, Rae Siilata
  • Gray, S. M., & Joe, A. (2013). Editorial. TESOLANZ Journal, 21, i-ii. Related URL.
  • Gray, S. M. (2013). Configuring collegiality: The affective dimension of collaborative work. In R. M. Gillies (Ed.) Pedagogies: New Developments in the Learning Sciences (pp. 423-448). Haupage, NY, USA: Nova Science.
  • Kitchen, M. C., & Gray, S. (2013). Meeting the needs of English language learners in Aotearoa New Zealand schools. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 7 (2), 93-106. 10.1080/17501229.2012.699529
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Margaret Kitchen
  • Gray, S. M. (2012). Editorial. TESOLANZ Journal, 20, i-ii. Related URL.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 555
New Zealand