Dr Kim Bower is a teacher educator with a passion for languages, intercultural awareness and inclusivity. She inspires and empowers trainees and teachers to motivate learners to love languages and to develop a deep intercultural awareness. In 2000, after teaching languages for 16 years, Kim moved to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) within HEI. She developed a highly successful MFL PGCE course, which saw a rapid increase in recruitment.
She led curriculum innovations in MFL through two national pilots: French subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses and the Anglo-French bilateral project.
Impact of work
The SKE programme widened access to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) by enabling large numbers of graduates of German and Spanish and graduate linguist foreign nationals who were unfamiliar with the UK educational system to access ITE. In 2012 the SKE national evaluator estimated that 800 trainee teachers who would not have otherwise been able to access ITE had trained successfully. Many of these students were promoted quickly.
The Anglo-French bilateral project developed the secondary curriculum through Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) pedagogy in teacher training via a 4-week exchange of trainees based at the Universities of Hull and Nancy. This CLIL pilot aimed to address the demotivation of secondary aged children to learn languages by enabling a more effective and engaging language learning experience through cross-curricular language learning. Kim developed this work further through a PHD in CLIL; she has contributed to the research base in this field and regularly speaks at conferences. In 2016 Kim won a conference best paper award for her work in motivation and CLIL and won a Sheffield Hallam Team Award for research and innovation.
Plans for the future
Kim is currently leading the development of subject knowledge enhancement courses across the teacher education department at Sheffield Hallam University to further increase access to teacher training. She also advises and supports the team developing the National Modern Languages SCITT, a new school-based ITE programme. As part of this initiative, she is directing the development of a pre-ITT MFL SKE.
Principal Lecturer in Education
Sheffield Hallam University