People

Associate Professor Una Cunningham

una.cunningham@canterbury.ac.nz
Una Cunningham

Position

Associate Professor and Programme Coordinator for:

  • Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, (MTESOL)
  • Master of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (MCALL)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education endorsed in Teaching and Learning Languages (PGDipEd(TLL))

Qualifications

Master of Arts (MA) in Education, University of Uppsala, Sweden
Ph.D. Linguistics, University of Nottingham
Bachelor of Arts (BA) Joint Honours Spanish and Linguistics, University of Nottingham

Background

Associate Professor Una Cunningham grew up in Northern Ireland, and came to the University of Canterbury at the beginning of 2013 after some 30 years in Sweden. She has taught and carried out research in schools and universities in Sweden with a focus on learner pronunciation with English, Swedish and Spanish as target languages. She has experience of developing and coordinating programmes and courses for domestic and international students, and has worked extensively on cooperation projects with universities in China and Vietnam. She is currently a member of the University of Canterbury E-learning Research Lab and the New Zealand Institute of Language Brain and Behaviour. She has written a number of textbooks for various readerships (see publications list in UC Research Profile).

Community Engagement

Research Interests

My main area of research is around migration, language, learning and technology in various permutations. I am interested in the application of technology for using, learning and teaching languages and the interplay of linguistic and digital practices of multilingual and transnational families.

Please see Una's UC Research Profile for more information and a full list of publications

Vera Leier

vera.leier@canterbury.ac.nz
Vera Leier

Background

Vera is interested in computer-assisted language learning (CALL), a form of teaching and learning using computers as part of a blended language classroom. She is particularly interested in presenting students with computer applications which are part of the students’ every day life and provide the students with an authentic learning experience. Her research includes the integration of podcasts into the language curriculum to enhance the listening skills of the students. As early as 2000 she developed her own podcasts and started her own iTunes channel where the students could download the tailor-made German podcasts onto their mp3 devices for learning purposes. She researched the use of podcasts in her classes and presented the outcomes on several international CALL conferences between 2001 and 2010. In 2011 she started using social media - Facebook - as an integral part of my teaching practices. Social media is particularly useful to create a sociocultural learning environment, it helps to build a very strong link between the on-campus and distant students and can create a social presence unknown to a conventional classroom setting. Social media in a second language learning environment is the topic of Vera's PhD titled 'The effect of Facebook-Social Media on the learning and teaching of German at tertiary level in New Zealand'.

Research Interests

See Vera's UC Research Profile for further research and a list of recent publications.

  • Use of social media in language teaching and learning
  • Computer assisted language learning (CALL)

Linda Edwards

linda.edwards@canterbury.ac.nz

Linda Edwards

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science in Modern Languages:  French and German (Aston University, U.K.)
  • Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Adults)
  • Cambridge DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Adults)
  • Master of Computer-Assisted Language Learning with Distinction (University of Canterbury)

Research Interests

Language assessment; learning and teaching languages; computer-assisted language learning. 

Sara Farshad Nia

sara.farshadnia@canterbury.ac.nz
Sara Farshad Nia

Background

Sara is interested in professional development and teacher education in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). She started her PhD at the University of Canterbury, where she was awarded the University's Doctoral Scholarship. Her research project focuses on the integration of technology in the New Zealand ESOL context. Having recognised the significance of the use of technology in the 21st-century language education, she did her Master’s degree in Computer Assisted Language Learning in TEFL. Sara has taught English language courses at different universities, where she experimented with Mobile Assisted Language Learning tools (MALL) with her students.  She is currently a member of the University of Canterbury Learning and Teaching Language Research (LATL-Lab) and E-learning Lab. She is also actively involved in Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (tesolanz), and is the editor of TESOLANZ newsletter and the developer of the technology corner column.

She has been involved in teaching EDEM633 - Foundations of technology-enhanced language learning and EDMM633 - Issues in technology-enhanced language learning with the coordination of Professor Una Cunningham.

Research Interests

Technology enhanced language learning, computer mediate communication, online culture and netiquette are Sara's other fields of research.