Sandie has lived and worked in Portugal since 1987. She recently took up a post as researcher at Nova University Lisbon, and has been teacher educator, author and consultant specialising in early years language education since 2000. She has experience of working with all age groups and their teachers, but her main focus is pre-primary (ages 3 - 6 years) and primary (6 to 10 years) learners. Sandie has an MA in TESOL from The University of Manchester and a PhD in didactics and teacher education from The University of Aveiro in Portugal. Both her MA dissertation and PhD thesis involved research in pre-primary contexts. Her research interests include the intercultural domain in language education, play and language learning, approaches to assessment, teacher education for multilingual spaces and reflective practices. 

Sandie’s other passion is picturebooks, a form of children’s literature, which uses both picture and word to create meaning. Together with three colleagues she runs a facebook page, PEPELT, which looks at picturebooks in primary English language teaching; she maintains a blog (active between 2010 – 2014), Picturebooks in ELT, which  promotes the use of picturebooks with language learners of all age groups.

Sandie has written language learning courses and resource books and is the co-author of the guidelines for primary English education in Portugal. She is a regular contributor to edited volumes, journals and magazines related to ELT. She was co-editor of the CLELE journal between 2013 and 2019, an open access online journal which brings children’s literature and language learning together.

Sandie gives plenaries, workshops and presentations around the world, and has worked as a trainer with NILE since 2006. 


  • Books

    Mourão, S. with Ellis, G. (2019). Teaching English to Pre-primary Children. Educating very young children. Peaslake: Delta Publishing

    Mourão, S (2018). English Teaching in the Early Years: A research report. Lima: British Council. 

    Robinson, P. Mourão, S. & Kang, N-J (2015). English Learning Areas in pre-primary classrooms: an investigation of their effectiveness. London: British Council.

    Bento, C. Coelho, R. Joseph, N. & Mourão, S. (2005). Programa de Generalização de Ensino de Inglês no 1º Ciclo do ensino Básico. Orientações Programáticas [Guidelines for primary English in Portugal] Lisboa: Ministério de Educação

    Dias, A. & Mourão, S.  (2005). Inglês no 1.º ciclo – práticas partilhadas. [English in primary – shared practices] Porto: ASA Editores.

    Mourão, S.  (2003). Junior English Timesavers ‘REALBOOKS! in the Primary Classroom. London: Mary Glasgow Scholastic

  • Edited books

    Ramos, A.M, Mourão, S. & Cortez, M.T. (2017). Fractures and Disruptions in Children’s Literature. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press

    Mourão, S. & Lourenço, M. (Eds.) (2015). Early Years Second Language Education: International Perspectives on Theories and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge

  • Course books

    Mourão, S. (2015) Discover with Dex. Student Book and Teachers Guide (Levels 1 and 2). London: Macmillan. 

    Mourão, S.  (2011). Hello Jack! Student's Book & Teacher's Guide. Oxford: Macmillan

    Mourão, S. Coelho, R. Bento, C. Joseph, N. (2009). Hoola Hoop Primary 1, 2, 3, 4 Student's Book & Teacher's Guide. Porto: Porto Editora

    Coelho, D & Mourão, S. (2009). Little Hoola Pre-school Student's Book & Teacher's Guide. Porto: Porto Editora

    Mourão, S. & Gamboa, F.C. (2009). Best Buddies Student's Book, Activity Book & Teacher's Guide Level 1, 2 and 3. Editorial Macmillan de México, S.A: Mexico City

    Mourão, S. (2007). Three in a Tree Activity Book - Level A and B. Oxford University Press: Oxford

  • Chapters in books

    Mourão, S. (forthcoming). The ethical practices of collecting informed consent in action research projects. In A. Pinter and K. Kuchah (Eds.), Ethical and methodological issues in researching young language learners in school contexts. Bristol: Multilingual Matters

    Mourão, S. (2019). Collaborative approaches to looking at progression in early years foreign language learning contexts. In D. Prošić-Santovac & S. Rixon (Eds.)  Integrating Assessment into Early Language Learning and Teaching Practice. Bristol: Multilingual Matters

    Mourão, S. (2019). Integrating and emulating: Early English initiatives in Portugal. In J. Rokita-Jaśkow and M. Ellis (Eds.), Early Instructed Second Language Acquisition: Psycholinguistic and Sociocultural Aspects. Bristol: Multilingual Matters

    Mourão, S. (2018). Research into pre-primary language learning. In S. Garton & F. Copland (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Teaching English to Young Learners. Abingdon: Routledge

    Mourão, S. (2018). The social and linguistic benefits of peer interaction in a foreign language-learning programme. In M. Schwartz (Ed.) Preschool Bilingual Education: Agency in Interactions between Children, Teachers, and Parents. Multilingual Education Series. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer

    Mourão, S. (2018). Playing in English: the emerging voices of pre-primary children in a foreign language context. In F. Copland, & S. Garton, (Eds.), Voices from the TESOL Classroom: Participant Inquiries in Young Learner Classes. Alexandria, Vir: TESOL, p. 67-76

    Mourão, S. (2017). Picturebooks in instructed foreign language learning contexts.  In M. Nikolajeva & C. Beauvais (Eds.) The Edinburgh Companion to Children’s Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    Mourão, S. & Robinson, P. (2016). Facilitating the learning of English through collaborative practice. In V. Murphy, and M. Evangelou, (eds) Early Childhood Education in English for Speakers of Other Languages. London: British Council. 

    Mourão, S. (2015). The potential of picturebooks with young learners. In J. Bland, (ed.) Teaching English to Young Learners. Critical Issues in Language Teaching with 3-12 year olds. London: Bloomsbury Academic

    Mourão, S. (2015). English at pre-primary: the challenges of getting it right. In J. Bland, (ed.) Teaching English to Young Learners. Critical Issues in Language Teaching with 3-12 year olds. London: Bloomsbury Academic pp 51-70

    Mourão, S. (2015). Response to picturebooks: A case for valuing children’s linguistic repertoires during repeated read alouds. In S. Mourão, & M. Lourenço, (ed.) Early Years Second Language Education: International Perspectives on Theories and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge. Pp 62-77

    Mourão, S. (2013). Picturebook: Object of Discovery. in Bland. J. & Lütge, C. (Eds) Children’s Literature in Second Language Education. Continuum: London


  • Articles in peer reviewed journals

    Mourão, S. (2019) Response during picturebook read alouds in English as a foreign language, Teanga: The Journal of the Irish Association of Applied Linguistics 26 (1), 58-76.  Availble online

    Lourenço, M. & Mourão, S. (2017). Learning English (and other languages) in Portugal, Language Issues, 28(2), 53-55.

    Mourão, S. (2016). Picturebooks in the Primary EFL Classroom: Authentic Literature for an Authentic Response, Children’s Literature in English Language Education Journal, Vol 4(1) 2016 pp. 25-43. Available online

    Mourão, S. (2015). ‘Fostering affective responses to picturebooks in the young learner classroom’, Humanising Language Teaching, August 2015. Available online

    Mourão, S. (2014).  Taking play seriously in pre-primary English classes. ELT Journal, 63/3, pp. 254-264.

    Mourão, S. (2013). ‘Understanding response to picturebooks’ Encuentros, nº 22. Available online

  • Other articles

    Mourão, S. (2016). ELT in early childhood education: from a trickling stream to a rushing river, Children and Teenagers, 2016 (1).

    Mourão, S. & Ferreirinha, S. (2016) Report: Early Language Learning in Pre-primary Education in Portugal. Available online

    Mourão, S. (2015). Learning English is child’s play – how to leave them to it. Voices, 18.11.2015 Available online

    Mourão, S. (2015) Early childhood education, Voices bimonthly IATEFL newsletter Issue 243, p. 6

Sandie Mourao NILE
Sandie Mourao NILE

Sandie Mourão NILE Consultant Trainer