Jamie MacFadyen

Jamie MacFadyen


Telephone: 00977533612253 

College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Education
Department: Post-graduate
Research Centre/Unit: Education


I have been teaching ESL for over ten years, replacing my former career as a Costa Rica teak wood salesman. I spent five years in China and have just completed my fifth year in Saudi Arabia.

My main interests are literacy and culturally responsive education. I first became interested in culturally responsive education whilst studying MA Educational Leadership in Nottingham. As a PET teacher in Saudi Arabian colleges, I had noticed that students were constantly failing the reading section of the exam, and gave me feed-back that they were not motivated to read. I decided, following Geneva Gay's (2001) experiments, to employ a culturally responsive reading curriculum based on student interests, whilst at the same time taken into consideration their Islamic sensibilities. The results were fantastic, showing a considerable increase in PET reading ability in the final exma, after the 3 month intervention. From that day on, I decided to use culturally responsive graded readers, hip hop lyrics and even graphic novels, in an effort to take into account different forms of text. I am also interested in translanguaging (Wei, 2002) and whether it can be used as a culturally responsive scaffolding tool to help weaker learners while at the same time sustaining their mother tongue or cultural heritage.


At present I am working in a military environment in Saudi Arabia teaching college cadets, using the Cutting Edge book at A1. My aspirations are to use culturally responsive curricula in a more creative, less restrictive environment which will allow my research interests to flower. I believe that other forms of research, such as reflective cycles are highly amenable to even the most restrictive environments where no curricular interventions are permitted. I am excited by this idea of professionalism that allows the teacher a logical pathway through which to influence his peers and his teaching environment.