About us

Our research interest revolve around language teaching and learning in blended and virtual environments using innovative teaching methodologies, as well as state of the art tools.


I am a senior lecturer at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).  I am a member of the Centre for Modern Languages at the faculty of Arts and Humanities.  Other roles at the UOC over the years have included affiliation to the Educational Technologies department (2011-2012), researcher (2013) and director of the eLearn Center (2014-2015).  I have coordinated several European Projects including SpeakApps on oral production and speaking interaction online,  and AGAUR projects including the tandemMOOC project.

My research interests within the area of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) include tandem language learning, online spoken communication,  online collaboration, social networks for language learning, teacher training, task design and gamification.

Christine Appel

I got my Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Maryland. My areas of expertise are language acquisition, cognitive psychology and statistics. I have mostly taught Spanish as a second language abroad but my first experience as a teacher was at the University of Barcelona teaching English grammar.

Gisela Grañena


jrobbinsI started teaching English almost as soon as I arrived in Spain and really enjoy the contact with local people. I’ve taught small children, young adults and older adults in groups and one-to-one. I completed my Masters Degree in Applied Linguistics several years ago on a distance course (similar to the UOC system) and this was my main motivation for becoming a teacher with the UOC.

Jackie Robbins


I currently hold a Lecturer position at the Centre for Modern Languages at the UOC. I got my Ph.D. in Linguistics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York,  in 2007. From 2009 to 2012 I held a postdoctoral researcher and professor position at the Language Didactics Department at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, after which canalsI joined P.A.U. Education, where I was the content manager of the Open Education Europa portal and chief editor for the e-journal eLearning Papers from 2012 until late 2014. I’ve spent most of my life teaching language and training language teachers, and over the last few years I’ve taken an interest in educational technology, and digital literacies all applied to language learning.

Laia Canals


I was born in Poland, but have lived in Barcelona, Spain, since 2006. I hold an MA and PhD in Ap1276516_10151883526407891_805227019_o.jpgplied Linguistics from the University of Barcelona. My areas of expertise include second language acquisition, task-based language teaching, and research synthesis and meta-analysis. I have worked as an English teacher and lecturer for the past nine years, and I currently hold the position of post-doctoral researcher at the Open University of Catalonia.

Aleksandra Malicka

I am a doctoral candidate at the Universitat Oberta de de Catalunya (UOC). My background is based on Art and Culture, I got my degree in Art History  at Universitprofile picat de València. I have been working as a multilingual staff, guiding exhibitions and designing and managing workshops, in different cultural projects and museums since 1999. My interest in didactics led me to look for new challenges so I hold a postgraduate degree in e-Learning Teaching and Course Design by the UOC, and a postgraduate course in Teaching Spanish as Second Language by Universitat de Valencia and Instituto Cervantes. I have been teaching languages the last years in different environments and modes, on-line, blended and in-class. My research interests are MOOCs, Task Design and CMC in Second Language Teaching.

Marta Fondo Garcia


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