All posts by Una Cunningham

Associate Professor Una Cunningham grew up in Northern Ireland, and came to the University of Canterbury in 2013 after some 30 years in Sweden. She has taught and carried out research in schools and universities in Sweden with a focus on learning and teaching languages with English, Swedish and Spanish as target languages. She has experience of developing and coordinating programmes and campus and online courses for domestic and international students, and has worked extensively on cooperation projects with universities in China and Vietnam. Una Cunningham is Associate Professor in Learning and Teaching Languages at the University of Canterbury. She leads the Learning & Teaching Languages Research Lab and researches and teaches technology-enhanced language learning and intergenerational transmission of minority languages. She is the inaugural editor-in-chief of the Journal of Home language Research and she coordinates the Master of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (MCALL) and Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MTESOL). Her book Growing up with two languages (Routledge 2011) is the basis of her outreach work in supporting parents and professionals in raising children bilingually. Una is a member of the University of Canterbury E-learning Research Lab and the New Zealand Institute of Language Brain and Behaviour.

Are you using this technology? Innovative online symposium

Is anyone else doing this?

Una Cunningham of Teacher Education and Jeanette King of Aotahi convened the Third UC Intergenerational Transmission of Minority Languages Symposium: Challenges and Benefits, which opened on 11 December 2017.

The symposium was entirely online and asynchronous. Presenters send in pre-recorded video presentations which are uploaded to YouTube and Figshare (so each presentation gets a doi number). The understanding is that uploading implies consent to having the material available under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY 4.0). Then each presentation has a page on our Learning & Teaching Languages Research Lab WordPress site  with the name and affiliation of the author(s), the abstract they submitted previously, an embedded link to the YouTube version of the video file, and information about how to cite the presentation including a mention of the symposium and the doi number which links back to the Figshare version of the file (generally in the less compressed version supplied by the author), which in turn also links to the symposium WordPress page. The comment function is enabled, but moderated.

The format attracted presenters from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Italy, Taiwan, Argentina, Belgium, the Netherlands, India, Qatar and Brazil as well as Australia and New Zealand. Presenters had the opportunity to share their work indefinitely, with a very wide audience, and to receive comments and enter into discussion with others, inside and outside academia, without any kind of paywall.

We haven’t heard of this being done elsewhere, but we would love to hear about it if someone at UC is doing this too or knows of anything similar. Please take a look at some of these presentations and let us know what you think!

LATL-lab welcomes visiting Professor

The Learning and Teaching Languages Research lab was delighted to welcome UC Visiting Canterbury Fellow Professor Monica Axelsson from Stockholm University with an informal morning tea on Friday 6 January.

Axelsson morning tea

Pictured from the left: Muneir Gwasmeh; Linda Edwards; SM Akramul Kabir; Thinh Le; Shaista Rashid; Novia Bin; Sara Farshad-Nia; Jin Kim; Professor Jeanette King, Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies; Vera Leier, Global, Cultural and Language Studies – School of Language, Social and Political Sciences; Dr Kevin Watson, Linguistics -School of Language, Social and Political Sciences; Professor Monica Axelsson, Stockholm University; Associate Professor Una Cunningham, School of Teacher Education.

Professor Axelsson will be visiting the School of Teacher Education until 21 February at the invitation of the LATL-lab director, Associate Professor Una Cunningham.

Professor Axelsson’s expertise is focused on the learning conditions of newly-arrived refugee and migrant children, and on language across the curriculum. She has been recruited to the National Science Challenge E Tipu E Rea Better Start braid ‘Emerging bilinguals growing up in their digital world’ as an international advisor.

Monica and Una

Picture shows Jin Kim and Professor Monica Axelsson

Doctoral students and researchers in the LATL-lab are very much looking forward to discussing their work with Professor Axelsson, and she will be contributing to postgraduate courses in Learning and Teaching Languages while she is with us. She will also give a public lecture in early February (details to be confirmed), as well as a research seminar at the New Zealand Institute of Language Brain and Behaviour (NZILBB).

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