Anne Moir Scott, currently the Director of Languages and HOD French at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School, has been a dedicated and effective mainstay of the international languages community for many years. Not only a great supporter of colleagues’ work across several languages (EGGS itself offers six), Anne has always had a keen interest in her own professional learning and development. Anne recently completed her Doctor of Education degree at the University of Auckland, supervised by Martin East and Constanza Tolosa. After several years of hard and dedicated work, it was particularly exciting to see Anne graduate as Dr. Moir Scott at the University’s recent Spring Graduation.
In light of recent reforms to the NCEA, Anne investigated the NCEA level 1 ‘write’ standard. She was interested in the language learning potential of reflection when students write in French for portfolio assessment. In a carefully designed study Anne investigated what would happen when, after having completed a first draft of their writing, some students were given the opportunity to reflect on feedback they received, and others were not. Anne found strong links between strategic self-reflection and improved performance in a second draft of writing. This was particularly so for ‘merit’ level students. Based on her findings, she recommended that, despite busy programmes, teachers should consider giving students time and guidance to develop a habit of reflection on feedback in order to increase their language learning and achievement levels. In one examiner’s view this was “an excellent thesis” and a study “of the highest quality,” commenting that “the field is in much need of research of this type.” The second examiner referred to the work as “a key study,” and “the first in-depth study of its kind” to address “a topic of importance to language teaching in New Zealand and elsewhere.” The excellence of the thesis was recognised by its inclusion on the Dean of Graduate Studies List.
Martin East, Anne’s main supervisor, comments “although it is great when academics, such as myself and Constanza, undertake research into language teaching and learning, research undertaken by, with and for real teachers in real classrooms is particularly powerful because it is rooted and grounded in teachers’ genuine concerns.” Constanza adds “Anne’s commitment to her students’ learning was always at the forefront of her scholarly work. Her study is an example of excellent research with practical applications.” Anne was mindful to acknowledge the four schools and, in particular, the four language teachers “who made time in their busy programmes for me to conduct the research with their students. Their students’ genuine engagement with the research was also much appreciated.” During her candidature, Anne was able to make independent and successful contributions to academic debates and professional dialogue. These were achieved through several conference presentations, both nationally and internationally, and publication in The New Zealand Language Teacher, the professional peer-reviewed journal of NZALT.