our words make worlds

Inma Álvarez

Diasporic Identities Strand Lead

Inma is a Senior Lecturer in Spanish at the Open University. She has published on language teaching and learning as well as on dance and performance documentation and reconstruction. Her work has been mostly interdisciplinary. She has researched on intercultural competence in language education in relation to teacher training and learners’ skills development, learning in the digital era as well as on expression in the performing arts. She is a member of the CLAP (Cultures, Languages and Performance) special interest group at the Open University. Her current research is on the links between the performance of language(s) and culture(s) and the arts in different contexts and practices. She has participated in a number of national and international research projects including most recently the European project (2011-2014) Modularising Multilingual and Multicultural Academic Communication Competence for BA and MA level (MAGICC) funded by the Education and Culture DG (Lifelong Learning Programme); the Contexts, Culture and Creativity: Enriching E-Learning in Dance at the University of Surrey in 2012; and the European project (2011-2013), Performing Languages, on drama, language and intercultural learning, funded by the Education and Culture DG (Mobility projects).

Co-leading the Diasporic Identities strand enables Inma to engage in a dual research process. On the one hand, one of self-ethnography as a teacher and researcher in the diaspora, and on the other hand, as researcher of other language practitioners in Higher education. Language teachers move across different linguistic and cultural worlds drawing on their own rich linguistic and cultural resources for translating and re-making cultural concepts. Language teaching involves mediation, creativity and worldmaking. Working with language associations, language centres and language departments in the UK, the strand will explore key aspects of teachers’ personal and professional identities and conduct a critical appraisal of the institutional and political issues around the provision of modern language teaching in the UK from the perspective of the teachers.