Associate Teaching Professor

Tel: +44 (0)1204 903304


I have worked as a teacher trainer for over fifteen years. I began my career by completing a BA (Hons) in Drama at Leeds University (Bretton Hall College) and worked as a professional actress for seven years in film and TV, before applying these skills to teach English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). I went on to complete a Masters in TESOL in 2009, and a Doctorate in Education in 2017.

I have taught English in both the private and the public sector in the UK and in Europe.  I am currently lecturing on Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes and the Masters in Education programme at the University of Bolton.

Research Interests and Research Subject Specialisms

My various academic interests include: the use of storytelling as a pedagogic tool to promote interaction in the ESOL and Literacy classroom; continuous professional development in the Further Education and Skills Sector;; and the implementation and embedding of Literacy and Language into education and training.

My main research area of interest has focused on: the use of anecdotal storytelling in the classroom and research into developing literacy and ESOL teacher training programmes which promote interactive, innovative and motivational teaching and learning approaches.

Teaching Responsibilities

I am an associate Professor at the University of Bolton and my role includes the support and implementation of the TIRI (Teaching Intensive and Research Informed) agenda across the School of Education and Psychology. I supervise research for staff and Masters Candidates in the Education department.

I am also a programme leader for Initial teacher Education Programmes and a leader on the teacher education management team with whom I work in responsible for supporting and the University of Bolton’s drive for digital literacy skills, by promoting the implementation of blended and face and on line teaching, for a more flexible and blended module delivery

Publications and Research Outputs

Newton, V. and Telfer, S (2017) Does Identity Influence How Learners Seek Support? Creating Student Habitus. British Educational Study Association (BESA). Forthcoming Edition.

Bacova, D. and Telfer, S (2016) The use of storytelling by ESOL/Literacy trainee teachers. Language Issues. NATECLA. Volume 26.3 Summer 2016 

Rodriguez-Yborra, Maria A. and Telfer, Sarah (2016) Electronic professional practice portfolios and digital literacy skills in teacher education. On Reflection, 30. pp. 34-39.

Telfer, S (2015) Exploring the use of storytelling in the language classroom. Language Issues. NATECLA. Volume 26.2 Winter 2015

Rodriguez-Yborra, Maria A. and Telfer, Sarah (2015) Enhancing professional practice portfolios (PPP) in teacher training (TT). On Reflection (Iss 28). pp. 34-36.

Telfer S. (2015) Creative writing activities in the Literacy ClassroomRAPAL Learning Literacies (Vol 86) 

Telfer S, (2014) The Use of Storytelling as pedagogic tool in the ESOL Classroom -Journal of Practice and Research in Education

Telfer S, (2012) Using Creative writing and Storytelling in Language Teaching – Interdisciplinary Journal Ars Aeterna - See more at:


TEDx Conference University Of  Bolton  (2017)

‘Innovation, Integration and Education through Storytelling'