Dr Libby Anne Limbrick

PhD, MA, BA, DipTchg


Dr Libby Limbrick is a Principal Lecturer in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education. She completed a BA in English and Education before undertaking a Diploma of Teaching and teaching in primary schools. Her MA thesis developed and evaluated a paired reading peer tutoring programme to raise achievement of reading for underachieving tutors and tutees. Doctoral research was in literacy development of reading and language development of profoundly deaf children. From 2001 to 2004 Libby led a consortium of Auckland College of Education, Christchurch College of Education, Dunedin College to win a major contract with the Ministry of Education to develop and implement a qualification for a new position Resource Teachers: Literacy. She continues to coordinate this qualification, a Postgraduate Diploma of Education - Literacy specialisation.

Educational history

  • 1980 - 83 Primary teacher
  • Assistant lecturer, Department of Education, University of Auckland
  • 1989- 1993 Principal Tutor, New Zealand Hearing Association
  • 1993-1995 Senior Lecturer, Head of Department, Reading and Language (ACE) 1996-2005 Principal Lecture Head of Centre, Language and Languages (ACE)
  • 2002-2003 Principal Lecturer Director, National Training Programme for Resource Teachers: Literacy. Ministry of Education contract
  • 2004 - 2007 Principal Lecturer Head of School, Languages, Literacies and Communication
  • 2007 - Principal Lecturer, Head of School of Arts, Languages and Literacies

Research | Current

Dr Limbrick’s research and professional interests are broadly based in literacy education, especially for students experiencing difficulties in literacies.

  • The teaching of writing with a focus on the use of student achievement to enhance teaching of writing.
  • The development of specialist teacher education for the support of low achieving students in literacy learning
  • Children’s Literature and its contribution to enhancing students’ literacy development.
  • Adult literacy and the development of academic literacies.

Publications and presentations

Teaching | Current

Dr Limbrick co-developed and leads the Postgraduate Diploma of Education - Literacy specialisation. This qualification is approved by the Ministry of Education as the qualification for Resources Teachers: Literacy. Current students include Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviours, Literacy Support Teachers, Literacy Leaders, Literacy Advisors as well as early childhood, primary, secondary, and teachers with a particular interest in literacy. This qualification is taught flexibly with an online and study guide structure.

Courses taught include:

  • EDPROFST 700 Literacy Education: Research and Practice
  • EDPROFST 701 Issues in Literacy Education
  • EDPROFST 702 Challenges of Literacy Difficulties
  • EDPROFST 703 The Inquiring Teacher: Literacy

Dr Limbrick also coordinates and teaches in EDPROFST 705 Issues in the Teaching and Learning of Literacy and has coordinated EDPROFST 781 Examining National Standards.


  • 1984 W.D Lang Award for Best Masters Thesis in Education
  • 1994 New Zealand Reading Association Citation of Merit for Outstanding Services for professional leadership and contribution to the field of reading

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional links

  • Member: New Zealand Association of Research in Education
  • Member: New Zealand Reading Association
  • Member: New Zealand Association for Teachers of English
  • Chairperson: Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand
  • Editorial Board: Literacy Teaching and Learning: An international journal of early reading and writing.
  • Reviewer for NZJES ; Canadian Journal of Education; Teaching and Teacher Education; NZ Reading Forum; SET: Research information for Teachers

University Committees served on

  • Faculty Staffing Committee
  • Faculty Education Committee
  • Faculty International Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Jesson, R. N., & Limbrick, L. (2014). Can gains from early literacy interventions be sustained? The case of Reading Recovery. Journal of Research in Reading, 37 (1), 102-117. 10.1111/1467-9817.12017
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26388
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rebecca Jesson
  • Limbrick, E. A., & Jesson, R. (2011). Early Literacy intervention: is there evidence of sustained achievement over time?. Paper presented at British Education Research Association (BERA) Conference, Institute of Education, London. 6 September - 8 September 2011.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rebecca Jesson
  • Limbrick, L., & Jesson, R. (2011). Are gains from early reading interventions sustained over subsequent years of primary schooling? The case of Reading Recovery in New Zealand. In H. Dixon, E. van Til, R. Williams (Eds.) Proceedings of the NZARE Conference & Annual Meeting, 2010, 44-59. University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand: NZARE. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/17270
  • Limbrick, L., & Parr, J. M. (2011). Standing out from the best: The case of two demonstrably effective teachers of writing. Journal of Reading, Writing and Literacy, 5 (1), 54-82.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/15435
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Judy Parr
  • Limbrick, L. (2011). Motivating literacy learners in today's world; Teaching reading vocabulary; Teaching early reading and phonics: Creative approaches to early literacy [Book Review]. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 46 (21), 84-88.
  • Limbrick, L., & Parr, J. M. (2011). Standing out from the best: The case of two demonstrably effective teachers of writing. Journal of Reading, Writing and Literacy, 5 (1), 54-82.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/18021
  • Hill, M. F., Gilmore, A., Gunn, A., Smith, L. F., Cowie, B., Ussher, B., ... Grudnoff, A. (2011). Researching together: Negotiating access and sustaining participation under challenging circumstances. Paper presented at New Zealand Association of Educational Research Annual Conference, Tauranga, New Zealand. 28 November - 1 December 2011.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mary Hill, Fiona Ell, Lexie Grudnoff
  • Limbrick, E. A., & Jesson, R. (2010). Sustainability of achievement outcomes following early literacy intervention. Paper presented at British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual conference, University of Warwick , United Kingdom. 1 September - 4 September 2010.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 610
New Zealand