LOW Ee Ling


Head, Office of Strategic Planning and Academic Quality

Office of Strategic Planning and Academic Quality (SPAQ), English Language & Literature (ELL)

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  • Professor LOW Ee Ling is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Teacher Learning at the English Language & Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU).  Professor Low is Head of Strategic Planning & Academic Quality (SPAQ), a member of the NIE Senior Management Team and an elected member of the NTU Senate. Her previous appointments include: Associate Dean for Programme and Student Development at the Office of Teacher Education (2009-2013) and Sub-Dean for Degree Programmes (2004-2009).  She has played a leading role in the conceptualization of the following strategic documents for NIE, Singapore: NIE Moving Forward: Towards 2017 Strategic Roadmap and Teacher Education for the 21st Century (TE21): A Blueprint for Teacher Education in Singapore (2009).

    She obtained her BA (with Direct Honours) from the National University of Singapore (NUS), an M.Phil and a PhD in Linguistics (Acoustic Phonetics) from the University of Cambridge, UK under the Nanyang Technological University–National Institute of Education Overseas Graduate Scholarship. In her undergraduate years, she was selected for the prestigious Direct Honours Programme for English Language at the National University of Singapore and in her pre-university years, was awarded the Ministry of Education Humanities Scholarship which she pursued at Raffles Junior College. In recognition for her academic merit and leadership potential, Professor Low was awarded the highly competitive Advanced Fulbright Research Scholarship in 2008 which she spent at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. 

    She has been awarded visiting professorships in Linguistics at King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in 2015, at Chulalongkorn University in 2008 and at Ball State University on the Fulbright Occasional Lectureship Award. She is a Centre Fellow for the Research Centre for Language Education and Acquisition in Multilingual Societies appointed by the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIE) and served as the external BA Programme Examiner in Applied Linguistics. She has served as a consultant to undergraduate programme development for the Emirates College for Advanced Education and played a key role in the Temasek Foundation-NIE Educational Leaders Programme for Vietnam which upgraded 30,000 principals in educational leadership in Vietnam. 

    Professor Low excels in teaching and was awarded the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Honoured Faculty award by the President of NTU for inspirational mentorship. Her teaching innovations developed with her colleagues include the development of a pronunciation game known as “Penguin Odyssey” and most recently, the “NIE Well Said” app widely used by students. 

    Professor Low is an internationally renowned expert in Pronunciation Research in relation to world Englishes and Applied Linguistics. The pronunciation metric system which she devised in her early career (known as the Pairwise Variability Index or PVI) was a breakthrough as it was able to robustly capture rhythmic patterning empirically. The PVI is still widely used today by leading researchers in the field as well as in many multidisciplinary domains including music and language pathology. More recently, her sole-authored scholarly book “Pronunciation for English as an International Language: From Research to Practice” published by Routledge in 2015, cements her authority in this field. Notably, she was appointed series editor of the Routledge Studies in World English book series in 2015.

    She has published widely in the field of World Englishes and Teacher Education which have appeared in internationally peer-reviewed journals like AILA Review, Language and Speech, TESOL Quarterly, English World-Wide, World Englishes, Australian Journal of Teacher Education, and the Asia-Pacific Journal of Education. She is serving/ has served on the following editorial boards: Journal of Second Language Pronunciation (John Benjamins: The Netherlands), Multilingual Education (Springer: Germany), English Language Teaching World Online (National University of Singapore), Regional Language Centre (RELC) Journal (Sage: UK). Additionally, she is the Series Editor of the Routledge-Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics Series in World Englishes (Routledge: UK) and editorial board member of the Multilingual Education book series (Springer: Germany).

    She is an invited keynote speaker to numerous international conferences and symposia in both World Englishes and Teacher Education and has won numerous competitive research grants in both these fields both locally and internationally amounting to more than $1.5 million SGD. She is Singapore’s representative on the Stanford University International Teacher Policy Study (ITPS) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Global Education Innovation Initiative (GEII) projects. She currently heads the Global Education Innovation Laboratory based at NIE/NTU.

    She is currently the President of the Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics (SAAL) and also President of the St Joseph’s Convent Alumnae and was appointed IJ Schools ambassador for being an outstanding alumnus. She is currently serving on the boards of International Association for Applied Linguistics and is the Honorary Secretary for the Fulbright Association of Singapore. She has also served in the United Nations Association of Singapore. In 2008–10, she was the Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA), a role for which she was awarded fellowship of APERA in recognition of her outstanding service in 2010. She served on the Speak Good English Movement, Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts from 2006-2012. In 2012, she was awarded the Public Administration (Bronze) model by the President of the Republic of Singapore in recognition for her dedication and commitment towards furthering the cause of education in Singapore.