Hire me > Research and Supervision

I enjoy collaborating with MA and PhD students and staff in order to help develop research projects. My specific areas of interest include:

  • The role of technology in learning and teaching
  • Learner autonomy and self-access
  • Out-of-class learning
  • Task-based language teaching
  • The pschology of the language learner
  • Language processing (attention and noticing)
  • Mobile learning

I currently have over 20 postgraduate students, including six doctoral candidates, who are investigating a wide range of topics. You can read their abstracts below. They include the (mis)match between teachers’ perceptions of learner’s difficulties and learners’ perceptions of their own difficulties, the role of timing in focus-on-form, the use of DIY corpus building for independent learning, the role of computer games in EFL, classroom practices for teacher autonomy, and out-of-class learning. I sometimes take on new students, depending on my workload, the degree of overlap between the student’s research and my own, and the level of the student’s previous work. I supervise by using a wide range of online tools. I have limited time and can only take on students who meet a number of requirements, and whose research interests overlap with my own, and only with the permission of my institution. Feel free to contact me for more information.

Here is a reference from a former student, Junaiday Bte Januin, from Malaysia:

I found working with Hayo not only enjoyable but also very fruitful and academically stimulating. As an advocate of ‘Learner Autonomy’, he really puts what he’s been writing into practice; he has coached me to be an autonomous learner myself to realise the fruits of learner autonomy. Hayo has always been generous with his knowledge and expertise; he has meticulously guided and facilitated me in preparing a sound PhD proposal. In brief, working with Hayo is an invaluable experience.

And here another one from a Thai student, Sorada, studying in New Zealand:

Thank you again for everything you have done for my proposal. Although we have talked to each other only for about 3 months, I feel that it is almost 3 years since I have learned a lot from you. Thank you for being supportive and always available when needed.

Sorada recently won the prize for best PhD thesis in Thailand – huge congrats!

Sorada thesis prize

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker.

Below you can read about my students’ research.


Nathan Calvert

Future Ready: Developing a collective understanding of a school tagline
Master’s student at Unitec, Auckland; Working in New Zealand

Kristin School’s tagline, ‘Future Ready’, is used to promote the school. As the meaning of Future Ready (FR) hasn’t been explored, staff members currently have differing understandings of what FR means in theory and in practice. The aim of my action research project is to develop a collective understanding of the FR tagline amongst Kristin School staff. This will be carried out through a series of professional learning workshops involving a group of staff members. Researchers report that the world will experience major change in the next 20 years, driven by megatrends such as automation, artificial intelligence and exponential growth in computing power. Coupled with environmental challenges such as climate change, researchers report that the future world will be more volatile and uncertain than it currently is. As a result, the education sector needs to realign its focus to help prepare students to address these challenges. The workshops will introduce staff to research on future-focused education and futurist thought regarding predicted global changes that will occur over the next 20 years, and consider ways schools can prepare students to be ready for an unknown future. The workshop group will synthesise the research shared and use this to develop a common understanding of FR within a Kristin context. Changes in the workshop group’s individual and collective conceptual understanding will be measured using interviews and concept maps. The impact of participation in the workshop group will be measured using interviews. The workshop group will consider ways in which the wider staff can also be involved in the development of a collective understanding of FR and how the FR tagline can be operationalised within the school.


Deborah Hay

The practice of changing pedagogy: One teacher’s experience in implementing portfolios
Master’s student at Unitec; Working in New Zealand

In this thesis I document the process of change, by relating my change in classroom practice to Fullan’s (2016) work on change implementation. As I go through the three stages of implementation – initiation, implementation and continuation, I highlight some of the barriers I and other educators faced with changing practice. I teach Science and Chemistry at a year 1 to year 13, single-sexed private school in Auckland. In my school students often hide their failures rather than embrace them, making it hard for teachers to help students progress their understanding. So I decided that something needed to change and so I started with implementing personalised learning plans with each student in one class, to see if I could help my students overcome their fears of failure and be successful in my subject. As a result I found that there are many barriers to educators changing their pedagogy starting with themselves as they have to confront their own beliefs and equally the students beliefs about what makes a “good teacher”. I compared my journey with that of other educators who have altered their teaching practice and found that there are many parallels and that the hardest part is to continue with a change, given our lack of time in this modern age.


Rob Hutton

The Impact of Teacher Professional Learning on the Implementation of a Digital Citizenship Curriculum
Master’s student at Unitec, Auckland; Working in New Zealand

The purpose of this project is to increase the knowledge and awareness of digital citizenship, but ultimately to change the behaviour of the staff, students and parents at Kristin Junior School. This will be done by implementing a digital citizenship curriculum framework across the school through integrating the framework into the existing units of work being taught in the school.

The Common Sense Media tutorial has been conducted with all staff. This will be followed up with team teaching and lesson observations in three pilot classes, to evaluate the effectiveness of the Common Sense Media curriculum scope and sequence as a resource that can be used in New Zealand schools, as they relate to teacher competency (one possible resource to lift staff knowledge and awareness). Each of these classes will have four hours of time dedicated to them as a combination of observation and team teaching. The purpose of this is to take practical steps to evaluate the programme being implemented.

If it works, the teachers in the school will be better informed about digital citizenship and will know how to teach it. The different facets that make up digital citizenship will be clear to them. The Digital Citizenship lessons will be integrated into the school curriculum (and units of work the teachers deliver). Student awareness of digital citizenship will have increased, they will be equipped with skills they may need in the future. The drawbacks and opportunities associated with including this resource as part of the school curriculum will be clearly identified.


Chatrawee Insaboom

Teacher autonomy and its impact on learners
Doctoral student at KMUTT, Bangkok; Working in Thailand

The interest in promoting autonomous learners in the field of education has been growing for the last three decades. Teacher autonomy is now recognized as one of the major factors that affects the development of learner autonomy, especially in language learning (Little, 1995; McGrath, 2000; Thavenius, 1999). We know that teachers who perceive themselves as autonomous are likely to exercise their own autonomy in their teaching (Jiang & Ma, 2012); however, how they go about this and how it affect their learners are not well-known. This study aims to investigate: 1) the extent to which teachers perceive themselves to be autonomous teachers operationalised as a) fostering learner autonomy, b) teachers participating in ongoing professional development, and c) having freedom in their own teaching, 2) how they foster learner autonomy in practice, 3) how they exercise their freedom in practice, and 4) the extent to which the learner consider that the teacher is fostering their learner autonomy. The study closely examined the teaching and practice of four English teachers at a Thai university who self-identified (through a questionnaire) as highly autonomous. The study included detailed observations of their classes over a period of 10 weeks in undergraduate English courses that have the development of learner autonomy as one of their key goals. The observations were complemented with interviews before and during the observation period. After the observations and teacher interviews were completed, learners studying in each classroom observed were participated in focus group interviews to discuss how they perceive learner autonomy fostered by their teachers. The results of this study can draw a number of pedagogical implications that can be used as to inform teacher training courses, teachers’ professional development as well as their teaching and classroom practice.


Kat Liu-Asumoa

Disruptive Evolution: A Case Study of how One School Develops its Innovative Learning Environment
Master’s student at Unitec, Auckland; Working in New Zealand

Population growth and sector evolution in education globally and in New Zealand have meant a sustained period of rapid change and development has been underway for quite some time. New schools in New Zealand are currently being constructed at a rapid rate, and existing schools are spending a lot of time and energy on re-thinking educational practices and approaches to learning. Many of the structural and pedagogical changes that the country has seen recently have arguably been mandated particularly to meet the principles of Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) in the organisational, learning, and relational elements of school planning. These developments afford those involved at each school the opportunity to implement new research and education initiatives in their local communities. However, the ways each school and community go about these processes seem to vary greatly and research on the processes new schools and their stakeholders undertake in order to make the school operational is limited. This study addresses this gap by offering a case study of the implementation planning processes of one school. This research focuses on describing the drivers and processes involved in creating the implementation plan for one school. The thesis offers recommendations for other practitioners undertaking similar work in school development, a theoretical argument for approaching ILE organisational practices from an ecological systems thinking perspective, and implications for further case study research by both new schools and schools transitioning to ILE-aligned pedagogies and systems along with their stakeholders and communities. Finally, the research will highlight opportunities for further investigations into the operationalisation of ILEs in New Zealand.


Napat Jitpaisarnwattana

Personalising and Socialising Language MOOCs: Developing a SPOLC
Doctoral student at KMUTT, Bangkok; Working in Thailand

There has been a lot of attention given to MOOCS and their potential to disrupt education in recent years. Language education, albeit being a rather slow starter, is starting to embrace this development. There is a growing interest in language MOOCs and they appear to be multiplying at a rapid pace (Gee, 2012). However, what MOOCs in general and LMOOCs in particular have struggled with is encouraging and enabling student interaction in order to improve learning. Such a lack of interaction is even more crucial for language MOOCs as the role of interaction has been considered important in in second language acquisition (Gass & Mackey, 2006; Long, 2006). In addition, the high heterogeneity among students (language level, learning needs, goals, intentions and learning styles) is also an important issue in LMOOCs. People come to MOOCs for different purposes and goals. However, most existing LMOOCs still fail to incorporate these elements into their design. Kay et al. (2013) even point out that the existing MOOCs and LMOOCs are not half way through in implementing personalisation. This PhD project aims to solve the existing problems by designing a language MOOC with a newly coined term, Social and Personal Online Language Course (SPOLC). The design principle of SPOLC aims to provide a personalised language learning environment by exploiting the data available through learning analytics as well as the highly interactional learning activities for participants. The content of the project targets primarily, albeit nor exclusively, professional engineers who need to give presentation in their workplace. The course is entitled Presentation@work and will be launched around May-June 2018, so feel free to drop me an email if you want to participate or help evaluate the course design.


Hussein Saeed

Doctoral student at Anaheim University, USA; working in Saudi-Arabia
Doctoral student at Anaheim University, USA

This study compared the effect of the timing of focus on form on the acquisition of the past counterfactual conditional (PCC) and framing expressions (FE) for English questions in two learning conditions. The timing of focus on form was conceptualized as a distinction between initial focus on form, provided to learners prior to the communicative activity, and embedded focus on form, which drew learners’ attention to the target features within the context of the communicative activity. Sixty- three EFL adult learners received a total of six hours of initial or embedded focus on form on the target features. Learning was measured by means of cloze tests and oral interviews. The results obtained from a one-way ANOVA and independent t-tests lent support to Transfer Appropriate Processing (TAP) theory. Learners who were presented with initial focus on form instruction performed better on the written tests while learners who were presented with embedded focus on form instruction were better able to retrieve information about the target structures on the oral interviews on the immediate posttest. However, the differences between the two groups diminished on the delayed posttest, indicating that form-focused instruction (FFI) was beneficial to L2 learners, regardless of when it was presented. The results obtained from the analyses of a dependent t-test and post hoc comparison test revealed that the two target structures responded differentially to the timing of focus on form. Whereas FE tended to be more affected by the initial focus on form treatment, the PCC was more affected by the embedded focus on form treatment.


Elizabeth Haga

It is an Emotional Thing: An Investigation of ESL Learners’ Emotions in Response to Feedback, a Dynamic Systems Perspective
Doctoral student at Anaheim University, USA; Working in the US

Although emotions and emotion regulation are well researched in mainstream psychology, little empirical evidence is available in language learning. This study describes what emotions do adult ESL learners experience and how do these learners regulate their own emotions in response to feedback on performance. Data gathering is based on a short survey and semi-structured interviews. For data analysis grounded theory (GT) and dynamic systems theory (DST) are utilized. Out of the initial pool of participants (25), the analysis of five cases is the focus of the study; how the five learners’ systems self-regulate in response to feedback.


Sachiko Nakamura

The effects of an affective strategy training program on L2 learners’ appraisals, emotions, and motivation
Doctoral student at KMUTT, Bangkok; Working in Thailand

In academic settings students experience a wide range of emotions. These emotions–both positive and negative–have found to have significant effects on students’ performance and achievement. Thus, it is crucial for second/foreign language (L2) learners to be equipped with strategies to successfully self-regulate their learning at both cognitive and affective levels. The aim of the proposed study is twofold. First is to investigate how Thai students’ emotions experienced in L2 learning relate to causal antecedents (appraisal of control and value over learning and outcomes) and effects (motivation) outlined in the control-value theory of achievement emotions. Second is to design and implement a strategy training program intended to equip students with skills to successfully self-regulate their learning through affective dimensions. The efficacy of the program will be evaluated based on its effects on students’ emotions, appraisals (i.e., perceived control and value of learning), goal orientation (intrinsic or instrumental motivation), and motivated behaviours, which will be investigated through mixed methods. The findings of this study are expected to make both theoretical contributions, in that they help to understand the nature of learners’ affective responses and their impact on learning, as well as pedagogical contributions, in that they can help both teachers and learners to identify the most appropriate combination of learning strategies to ensure optimal learning outcomes.


Caron Treon

Teacher Autonomy to Learner Autonomy: The Trickle Down Effect
Doctoral student at Anaheim University, US; Working in the US

This research will investigate if teacher autonomy is transferring to and resulting in learner autonomy at the University of California, Davis in their Workload 57 program. The study format will be a case study that will follow three Workload 57 teachers over the span of one quarter. Each teacher will be interviewed three times: pre-quarter, half-way through the quarter and at the end of the quarter. The initial interview will establish the teacher’s beliefs about their own autonomy and their practices, as well as their beliefs about learner autonomy, and how they currently are promoting learner autonomy in their classrooms. Three classroom observations will be conducted along the same time span. The observations are to see whether their beliefs in their own autonomy and their beliefs in learner autonomy are transpiring and being represented in their teaching, their assignments, and in the materials that they are using in their classrooms. Information from the interviews, and observations will be analyzed as well as materials used by all three teachers including: course syllabi, assignment sheets, and materials used by each teacher throughout the quarter. The goal of the study is to learn about teacher’s beliefs in their own autonomy and to see if their beliefs are being represented in their teaching, and to find out whether teacher training is needed to improve the level of autonomy currently present in the Workload program.


Andy Tweed

Notice, Act and Reflect: Using Smartphones to Focus on Affordances for L2 Learning Beyond the Classroom during Study Abroad
Doctoral student at Anaheim University, USA; Working in Japan

Study abroad programs provide students with many opportunities to learn, practice and use English in new ways. One of the main differences between studying English abroad in an L2 context and doing so in one’s own FL context are the opportunities for learning outside of the classroom. However, studies have reported that some students do not take advantage of these affordances during their study abroad experiences (e.g., Tanaka, 2007). That is, for various reasons, some students do not spend much time and effort actively exploring the linguistic affordances of the L2 learning context, which includes interaction with other English language speakers, while they are there. This situation is unfortunate, as a more active orientation towards one’s L2 context beyond the classroom can be a motivating and potentially transformative experience for learners. Furthermore, such a proactive orientation toward the L2 context can provide learners with more opportunities for receiving spoken and written input as well as interaction in authentic, situated contexts.

This study concerns a special program for study abroad students. The Capture English Learning Opportunities (CELO) Program was designed to support students to notice, act, and reflect on learning opportunities beyond the classroom while they were overseas. The basic task that the students carried out for this program was to record their thoughts about the learning opportunities that they had while they were abroad. Rather than recording their thoughts on paper, the students utilized their smartphones. Through the use of the messaging application LINE, students used text messaging and smartphone cameras to capture their thoughts while they were in the moment and context of learning opportunities beyond the classroom. By regularly reflecting on the L2 learning contexts, students could take advantage of the unique learning opportunities afforded by studying abroad in a predominantly English-speaking context.

Twelve Japanese undergraduate university students participated in this study. These students joined short, three-to-four-week summer study abroad programs in Canada, the U.K. and Australia. The data collection instruments include pre- and post-study abroad questionnaires, LINE messages which were sent the researcher during the study abroad programs, and post-study abroad interviews. The study examines students’ LINE messages sent while the students were abroad, as well as their thoughts on various aspects of the CELO program. Regarding the former, the researcher looks at the types of affordances for learning which students report, as well as how they frame their language experiences–some as successes and others as struggles. Students’ were also asked whether and how the CELO Program benefited them as language learners. Benefits include increased levels of motivation and a more active approach to learning and using English outside of the classroom.


Toni Wescott

Identifying Effective Elements of Digital Professional Development for Teachers
Master’s student at Unitec, Auckland; Working in New Zealand

Coming soon

Recent Graduates

Vatsana Vongsila (Laos) – Master's thesis 'Willingness to Communicate in an ESL classroom.'

Jim Luders (New Zealand) – Master's thesis 'engagement of Maori students.'

Lou Reddy (New Zealand) – Master's thesis 'Persuasion via Gamification: Mobile Applications for Supporting Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) Pedagogy.'

Jiji Kurian (New Zealand) – Master's thesis 'Personalised learning in a New Zealand secondary school science teaching context.'

Winifred Chukwurah (New Zealand) - Master's thesis 'experiences, symptoms and management related to chronic fatigue syndrome: a small study.'

Reshmin lata (New Zealand) - Master's thesis 'Enhancing professional Learning: Identifying obstacles and solutions to the successful development of pedagogical skills for teachers in an online distance school'.

Tim Shawcross (New Zealand) – Master's thesis 'Online communities of practice in the secondary music classroom: A tool for increased collaboration and peer to peer learning?'

Tina Swann (New Zealand) - Master's thesis 'Whakatipu iwi nui: Growing great people. An evaluation of Māra Kai and Service-Learning as a culturally responsive approach to teaching in an English-medium mainstream.' school in Aotearoa New Zealand'

Monique Ngatoro (New Zealand) - Master's thesis 'the value of a school base digital learinig framework: does it offer the support and guidance needed for teachers of varying digital capabilities?'

Margo Thorpe (New Zealand) - Master's thesis key competencies leading teaching and learning - imagining new possibilities in education.'

Sarah-Jane Khor - Master's thesis ‘Exploring teachers’ perceptions on the use of digital devices and the digital technologies curriculum content in diverse decile 1 schools.’

Katrina Hampton - Master's thesis ‘exploring play for learning in a sole charge school through action research.’

Anne Passmore - Master's thesis ‘Multi-level language teaching in a New Zealand secondary school - A practitioner research study’.

Laraine Heaslip - Master's thesis ‘‘Stories of resilience: supporting youngwomen to thrive at secondary school’’.

Hayo Reinders was the Principal Supervisor for my Masters thesis, which was completed in 2018. Hayo was an exceptional supervisor, whose timely feedback, guidance and questioning skills helped me immensely along my journey. Hayo regularly challenged my thinking which ensured that my thesis had a much greater depth than I'd anticipated. I highly recommend Hayo, and was grateful to have had the chance to complete my Thesis with his guidance. Nathan Calvert, Auckland, New Zealand