Associate Professor Pauline Gibbons

Guest Lecturer
PhD (UTS), MA Linguistics (Uni of Sydney), MA Anthropology (Uni of Pennsylvania), BA Hons English (Uni of Wales), Grad Dip TESOL (Institute of Education, London)
School of Education


+61 2 9385 1977
Room 132, Goodsell Building


By email

Pauline Gibbons taught postgraduate and undergraduate TESOL courses at the University of Technology Sydney for many years, and is now an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales. Her work with teachers has taken her to Hong Kong, Sweden, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China, South Africa, Marshall Islands, Iran, Germany, UK, and USA, among other locations. In recent years she has been working with teachers in remote indigenous communities in Australia, with EAL/D teachers across Australia, and as a consultant in international schools in South East Asia.

 A major focus of her research has been on the ways that teachers can provide an intellectually challenging curriculum for their English language learners, while at the same time providing them with the language scaffolding essential to the development of academic language and literacy across the curriculum. This focus on a ‘high challenge, high support’ learning environment is the context for much of her current work with teachers.

Professional contribution

Selected Publications

Selected Books

Gibbons, P. 2009. English Language Learners, Academic Literacy and Thinking: Learning in the Challenge Zone. Portsmouth NH: Heinemann.

Gibbons P. 2006. Bridging Discourses in the ESL Classroom: Teachers, Students and Researchers.     London: Continuum.

Gibbons P. 2002; 2nd edition forthcoming 2014. Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning: Teaching ESL children in the Mainstream Classroom. Portsmouth NH: Heinemann.

Gibbons, P. 1991. Learning to Learn in a Second Language. Sydney: PETA, (republished Heinemann US, 1993).

Selected Book chapters

Gibbons, P. 2011. Scaffolding. Entry in The Encylopedia of Second Language Acquisition, (Ed P. Robinson) London: Routledge.

Gibbons, P. 2007. Mediating Academic Language Learning through Classroom Discourse In J. Cummins and C. Davison, C. (Eds), Kluwer International Handbook of Education. English Language Teaching. Norwell MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Gibbons, P.  2006. Steps to an integrated ESL curriculum. In P. McKay (Ed), Volume 3: Teaching Creatively within a Required Curriculum for School Age Children. TESOL Association Publication

Gibbons, P.  2004. Changing the Rules, Changing the Game: A Sociocultural Perspective on Classroom Second Language Learning. In G. Williams and A. Lukin, A. (Eds), Children’s Language: Conversations Across Disciplines. London: Continuum.

Gibbons, P. and Hammond, J.  2001. What is scaffolding? In J. Hammond, (Ed.), Scaffolding Language and Literacy. Sydney: Primary English Teaching Association, pp 1-14.

Gibbons P.  2000. Classroom Talk and Language Learning. In C. Candlin and N. Mercer (Eds), English Language Teaching in its Social Context. London: Routledge, p. 258-270.

Selected Journal Articles

Gibbons, P. 2012. Scaffolding Academic Language and Literacy with School-aged ESL Learners, European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL 1(ii).

Gibbons, P.  2008.‘It was taught good and I learned a Lot’. Intellectual Practices and ESL Learners in the Middle Years. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy 32(ii), 155-173.

Hammond J. and P. Gibbons, P. 2005. (Guest editors) Special Issue: Re-thinking ESL Pedagogy: Socio-cultural approaches to Teaching and Learning. Prospect: An Australian Journal of TESOL 20 (i).

Hammond, P. and Gibbons, P. 2005. Putting Scaffolding to Work: The Contribution of Scaffolding      in Articulating ESL Education. Prospect, An Australian Journal of TESOL 20 (1).

Gibbons, P. 2003. Mediating Language Learning: Teacher Interactions with ESL Students in a Content-based Classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 37 (ii), 247-273.

Gibbons, P. 1998. Classroom Talk and the Learning of New Registers in a Second Language. Language and Education, 12(2) pp. 99-118.