Welcome to the Research Institute

Connecting our students to the world of research

The International School of London Research Institute is an innovative initiative that gives interested Grades 7, 8 and 9 students the opportunity to conduct cutting edge research. The pilot project for 2018-19 will focus on Bilingualism / Multilingualism, a key area of strength and expertise within our school community. Students will receive training to present their findings to a range of audiences, culminating at the ECIS MLIE Conference in London, March 2019

The aims of the Research Institute are as follows:

  • To give middle school students the opportunity to conduct original research
  • To equip students with higher level research skills and academic rigour
  • To use academic researchers within the process as role models and mentors who will bring expert knowledge and enthusiasm for the research process
  • To introduce literature of a higher level than students would usually expect to read and analyse
  • To develop further links and connections with universities
  • To promote interdisciplinary and collaborative working
  • To prepare students for the demands of the DP and undergraduate study

The Research Institute was relaunched at ISL London in February 2018 and the long-term aim is to work across all areas of the curriculum and build a culture of original and rigorous research across the middle school.


ISL Research Institute - Linguistic Autobiographies of International Students as a Starting Point for Research (John Catt Magazine)


Research Institute Latest News

Research Institute students remember their first days at ISL

This week the Research Institute students spent some time on an exercise remembering what it was like to be a new student at ISL. It was really very interesting to hear about their experiences of encountering other languages, having a buddy, sometimes having very limited knowledge of English, and how this shaped their first days at school. We are investigating how students are socialised into language habits at ISL and will be collecting data from other students very soon. There are still a few spaces available if any other MYP students are interested in joining the group - we can arrange a trial session on Wed 21st October for anyone who would like to come along to our MS Teams meeting and find out more. Please contact Ms Clare for more information.

Read More about Research Institute students remember their first days at ISL
The Research Institute resumes on MS Teams

The Research Institute resumed this week via MS TEAMS and we welcomed some new students. We are reviewing the work we did last term before starting to collect our data. If any other MYP students are interested in joining, we still have a few spaces and would look forward to welcoming you to the team. Alongside our data collection this term, we will also be starting to prepare a conference presentation proposal for the ECIS MLIE conference which will be taking place in late February 2021. #ISLstories

Read More about The Research Institute resumes on MS Teams

Our reflections

Our favourite quotes

"It was very 'mature' research rather than just on computers, on Google ... going out to people, conducting interviews, finding the data, organising the data properly."

"Throughout the process I learned how to look at the data and how to explain what the data was showing me. I now understand the information it is giving me and I can put it into words."

"All people in this group are either bilingual or multilingual, so they have all had that experience of multiple languages which is basically what we did our research on - thinking in different languages and why. All those pieces of research and our own experiences can be connected."

Our image gallery

Collaborative working
The Research Cake!
2016-2017 Team

The ‘ISL Surrey’ Research Institute pilot project conducted in 2016-17 generated the following outputs:

Research report
EAL Journal article
Student reflections video
Blog post for EAL Journal

The Team

Research Institute 2020 team

Clare Brumpton has been involved in the Research Institute since the start of the planning process. She was involved in running and delivering the pilot project at ISL Surrey and is responsible for moving the project and team across to ISL London and introducing it to a new group of students. She is a trained specialist school librarian with 20 years experience in UK schools and enjoys working with students of all ages. She joined ISL Surrey in 2015 and now works at both ISL Surrey and ISL London.

Clare can be contacted on cbrumpton@isllondon.org

Dr Robert Sharples is a Lecturer in Language and Education at the University of Bristol, where he teaches courses in EAL, language education and applied linguistics. His research examines the impact of global mobility on education and language learning, with a particular focus on EAL learners and young migrants. He is vice-Chair of NALDIC, the UK subject association for EAL, and author of the forthcoming EAL Teacher’s Handbook.

Mirela Dumic. As a language teacher with educational background in Social Research and EAL, Mirela has contributed to the development of the Research Institute at ISL Surrey (2016-17) and currently at ISL London. As a Croatian mother tongue teacher at ISL Surrey ‎(2014-2017), she collaborated on a multilingual digital storytelling project “Critical Connections” in partnership with Goldsmiths (University of London). Mirela also coordinates a multidisciplinary institute at the University of Surrey.

Critical Connections