Dr Anne Preston
Research Associate

Introduction

I am a researcher in iLab:Learn, a practice-based research lab in ECLS which undertakes world-class research in education and Information Communication Technologies by combining pedagogic theory, methods and practice. Given my background in language teaching and passion for language learning, I have a particular interest in the development and evaluation of technologies for language learning. I am also interested in the role and contribution of technology in many other 'subject areas', including STEM. 

I work across disciplines and I am motivated and passionate about collaborative and participatory research around technology which works towards finding solutions to real-world problems. At the University, my work often involves facilitating understandings and connections between people about technology from different disciplines. I also love working with students whom I find bring lots of energy and different personal and international perspectives to what technology does, should and could do. 

I collaborate with people both inside and outside the univeristy to develop knowledge and understanding in the relationship between learning, education and technology. These include students of all ages (and abilities), teachers, community workers, computer scientists, programmers, digital interactionists, applied linguists and second language learning researchers.

Research Interests and Expertise

I am busy working on a range of projects where I run workshops, demonstrations, trials and write academic papers linked to these activities:

- LanCook: the design and evaluation of multilingual language learning materials for Smart learning environments: www.europeandigitalkitchen.com

- Application and learning processes in Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs)

- Thinking skills for second language users on digital tabletops in Higher Education

- Teachers' understanding of pedagogical and technological models for technology enhanced learning

- Young people's understanding and feelings about the role and use of new technologies used for educational purposes

- Teachers and young people's motivation to co-create their own technological tools and environments for learning

You can follow me on Twitter @Prestontales where I am usually engaged in some online debate about technology, language, learning and education!

Roles and Memberships

I am convenor for the iLab:Learn Research Cluster where I encourage students and staff from across the university to share their work and get involved in discussions about what technology, and its relationship to learning and education, means to them. To join the mailing list for this group, you can contact me on anne.preston@Newcastle.ac.uk

I also review academic articles for Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) Journal and NordiCHI (the main Nordic forum for human-computer interaction research)

I am a member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) and the British Educational Research Association (BERA).

Funding

Economic and Social Research Council: As part of the Centre for Applied Language Research at the University of Southampton, I was awarded an ESRC Quota Award Studentship in Linguistics for a 1+3 programme, which included my MA Applied Linguistics Research Methodology and subsequent PhD programme. 

Newcastle Institute of Social Renewal: funding to lead an interdisciplinary team on a project called: Young people as Researchers in Digital Learning Technologies: Conceptualising, Authoring, Using and Evaluating Digital Mysteries

I have led the day to day coordination of a large scale EU-funded FP7 Lifelong Learning project for the past 3 years which involves partners from Spain, Italy, Germany and Finland.

Background

After graduating with a BA (hons) in English and French from Salford University, I worked as a teacher of undergraduates at Université de Haute Alsace in the East of France where I delivered undergraduate English Language Teaching modules on written and oral communication, French-English translation, Literature, Culture and Civilisation and Academic Skills. I then went on to study under an ESRC studentship for a MA (Applied Linguistics and Research Methods) and a PhD (Modern Languages) at the University of Southampton. I have worked in language education for many years including two online MA courses in TESOL and Applied Linguistics. I joined Newcastle University in 2011. 

 

 

As part of my role as a researcher in iLab:Learn, I contribute to a number of teaching areas: I run specialist seminars on educational technology for students on the MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL pathway including including Computer Assisted Language Learning, e-learning for Language Teaching and Task-Based Language Learning modules.

I am also part of the teaching teams on Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, Core Issues in Second Language Learning and Task-Based Language Learning modules.

I have supervised more than 30 MA dissertations on TESOL/Applied Linguistic/Technology subjects related to classroom theory and practice. I was also previously second supervisor to a PhD student doing a mixed methods study on vocabulary learning using digital technology.

I lead workshops on educational technology in iLab:Learn for postgraduate students, teacher trainees, teachers, other academics and many more!

Internationally, I am external examiner to PhD candidates at the National University of Modern Languages (Pakistan).

 

 

 

I am a researcher in iLab:Learn, a practice-based research lab in ECLS which undertakes world-class research in education and Information Communication Technologies by combining pedagogic theory, methods and practice. Given my background in language teaching and passion for language learning, I have a particular interest in the development and evaluation of technologies for language learning. I am also interested in the role and contribution of technology in many other 'subject areas', including STEM.  

I work across disciplines and I am motivated and passionate about collaborative and participatory research around technology which works towards finding solutions to real-world problems. At the University, my work often involves facilitating understandings and connections between people about technology from different disciplines. I also love working with students who I find bring lots of energy and different personal and international perspectives to what technology does, should and could do. 

I collaborate with people both inside and outside the univeristy to develop knowledge and understanding in the relationship between learning, education and technology. These include students of all ages (and abilities), teachers, community workers, computer scientists, programmers, digital interactionists, applied linguists and second language learning researchers.