Dr Marilyn Kell

Ph.D., M.Ed (Hons)

Research Fellow

Marilyn began her teaching career at a remote NT community in 1972. Since then, she has taught in four states in the school, VET and university sectors. Her teaching, research and writing focuses on literacy, especially those who struggle with it.  Over the last three years, since returning to the NT, she has worked extensively with international students learning in a language that is not their first.

Recent research has focused on the role of trust in responses to biosecurity incursions. Her work on international students has shifted to the experience eof international teachers and the aspirations of children in the NT African community.  

Research Interests

  • The international student experience in Darwin/at CDU
  • Supporting international preservice teachers
  • Transforming international undergraduates into researchers
  • Developing the northern workforce: the lived experiences of overseas migrants in the territory’s teaching workforce
  • Understanding the wider needs of the NT African community

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Research Reports

Current Projects

It takes a village: Talking to the village aims to develop a sustainable, community-supported intervention that will improve the educational aspirations of children of the small but diverse African diaspora in NT.

Global Teachers: NT Perspectives explores the experiences of overseas trained teachers employed by NT Christian Schools. It replicates a survey used to explore the experiences in 3 Australian states in 2003 (Reid, Collins & Singh, 2013)

Talking Like a Teacher: Identifying as a Teacher: CDU Small research Grant (2013), evaluates a program for scaffolding International Pre-service Teachers prior to their first school placement.

Transformative cultures: International Master of Education candidates becoming researchers in a western context. Investigating a new pedagogical approach to transforming international undergraduate students into researchers as they progress through their Master of Education programs.

Publications & Resources


Kell, M., & Kell, P. (2013). Literacy and language in East Asia: Shifting meanings, values and approaches. Singapore: Springer.

Book Chapters

Kell, P. & Kell, M. (2016). The Sputnik Moment in the 21st Century: America, China and the workforce of the future. In R.C. Mizzi, T.S. Roco & S. Shore (Eds.), Disrupting adult and community education: Teaching, learning, and working in the periphery (pp. 243-256). New York, NY: SUNY.

Kell, P. & Kell, M. (2014). The new global politics of literacy. In A. Cree (Ed.), Literacies: The power to change, Vol 2 – Literacy in a changing world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kell, M. (2013). “I don’t know why I can’t read”: Perspectives on adolescents with low literacy. In R. Gregson (Ed.), Literacies across the curriculum (pp. 113-125). Champaign, Illinois: Common Ground.

Kell, M., Davis, M., Warwick, R., & White, J. (2013). Caught in the spotlight: Preparing international students for professional placement in Australian workplaces. In A. Pandian, C. Liew Ching Ling, D. Tan Ai Lin, J. Muniandy, Lee Bee Choo, Toh Chwee Hiang (Eds.). New literacies: Reconstructing education and language (pp. 313-323). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Kell, M. (2010). Western notions of academic integrity as a barrier to international students. In P.M. Kell & G. Vogl (Eds.), Global student mobility in the Asia Pacific: Mobility, migration, security and wellbeing of international students (pp. 77-98). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Journal Articles

Kell, M. (2015). Welcome to Darwin: International voices about living and studying in Darwin. International Journal of Diversity in Education, 15(2), 1-12.

Buckworth, J., Kell, M., & Robinson, J. (2015). Supportive structures: International students and practicum in Darwin schools. International Journal of Diversity in Education, 15(1), 1-10.

Kell, M., & Gregson, R. (2011). Who struggles with academic literacy? Challenging common assumptions of which students engage in plagiarism. The University of the Fraser Valley Research Review, 4(1), 100-110. 

Kell, M., & Kell, P. (2010). International testing: Measuring global standards or reinforcing inequalities. The International Journal of Learning, 17(9), 485-502. 

Conference Papers

Kell, M. (2016). Institutional responses to increased international student enrolments at one Australian university. 16th International Conference on Knowledge, Culture, and Change in Organizations, University of Hawaii, 19-20 April.

Buckworth, J., Robinson, J., & Kell, M. (2014). Talking Like a Teacher: Identifying as a teacher and enhancing capacity building potential. Paper for presentation at Work integrated learning: Building capacity. ACEN National Conference 2014. Gold Coast Queensland, Australia, 1-3 October.

Kell, P., & Kell, M. (2009). International literacy and numeracy testing: Recent developments, issues and emerging dilemmas. Paper presented at The Learning Conference 2009, Barcelona, Spain. 

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Supervision

Current students

Aniko DebrecenySongs as saga: Creating curriculum based songs for learning

Meika Kurnia Puji RahayuInformation and Communication Technology (ICT) Use in Australian and Indonesian Business Schools: A Comparative Case Study

Rachmat HidayatGovernance and decentralization on health and education sectors in Indonesia

Dr Marilyn Kell


T: +61 8 8946 7457
E: marilyn.kell@cdu.edu.au

Darwin, NT