I joined the School of Education in September 2017 as a lecturer in Gaelic. I completed my PhD, "Gàidhlig ga bruidhinn an seo? - Linguistic practices and language management initiatives in Stornoway, the Western Isles of Scotland at the University of Aberdeen. This PhD was fully funded by Soillse and aimed to evaluate the linguistic practices of a community with a large percentage of Gaelic / English bilinguals, with a particular focus on the public domain and how the statutory language management initiatives of public organisations, created under the provisions of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. This study adopted a multimodal approach, including ethnographic observations of linguistic practices in the public domain to provide an evaluation of the overall level of Gaelic language use in the community, as well as language use diary-interviews with individual Gaelic / English bilinguals to assess the ideologies driving the practice and how these influence the de facto language policy.
I was awarded a £25,000 research grant by Bòrd na Gàidhlig to develop the use of language use surveys for the evaluation of the sociolinguistic vitality of Gaelic in the heartland communities of the languages. This study, due to be published in November 2019, highlighted the importance of the inclusion of Gaelic in the linguistic soundscape of a community for the future sustainability of the language.
I am the co-chair of the Scottish Council of Deans of Education Languages group which has representatives of all initial teacher education institutions in Scotland.
I was a member of the Council of Europe's European Centre of Modern Languages Expert Group on early language learning, working with an international team on a three-year project entitled 'Inspiring language learning and teaching in the early years - why it matters and what it looks like for children 3 - 12'. I am registered with the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) and have experience of teaching across all sectors from nursery to tertiary education.