Our Team

We are a team of 9 linguistic enthusiasts from 3 different universities across Canada. We are passionate about multilingualism and university student experiences. Read on to learn more about us!

Team Concordia

Heike Neumann
Principal Investigator

Heike Neumann is a senior lecturer and head instructor of ESL in the Department of Education at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research straddles the areas of language assessment, second language writing, and English for academic purposes. Heike loves to spend time outdoors in all seasons and enjoys hiking, biking, and skiing.

Ed Griffiths
Graduate Research Assistant (PhD)

Ed Griffiths is a third year PhD student in Applied Linguistics at Concordia. His current research concerns the teaching of communication strategies, with a particular interest in the Canadian Core French/FLS classroom. He has an MA in Bilingualism Studies from the University of Ottawa and an MA in Linguistics from SOAS University of London. Ed has also recently taught Modern English Grammar and Grammar for Teachers in the B.Ed TESL program at Concordia. 

Celine Reyes
Graduate Research Assistant (MA)

Celine Reyes is a first year MA student at Concordia University’s EdTech program. After receiving her BA in French and Linguistics (with certificates in Liberal Arts, Speech Sciences, French Proficiency, and TESL) from her alma mater Simon Fraser University, she was an ESL Instructor in her home city of Vancouver for 5 years. Currently a student, researcher, and CELPIP test rater, Celine can also be found eating too many delicious new foods while collecting (and winning) board games. 

Team York

Saskia Van Viegen

Saskia Van Viegen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at York University. Her research and teaching engages with bi/multilingualism in education, including educational practice with multilingual children and youth from minoritized and transnational backgrounds, language assessment, and language teaching and learning in multilingual university contexts. She co-edited the book Plurilingual Pedagogies: Critical and Creative Undertakings for Equitable Language (in) Education (Lau & Van Viegen, 2020) and is managing editor of the journal Critical Inquiry in Language Studies. Saskia appreciates time spent with family and friends, especially doing sports and outdoor activities.

Hamza Arsbi
Graduate Research Assistant (PhD)

Hamza Arsbi is a first year PhD student at York University’s Faculty of Education. For the past nine years, Hamza managed his own social enterprise, the Mind Lab, working to increase access to quality education for underserved communities across Jordan. After receiving his Master’s in international development: Public Policy and Management from the University of Manchester, he studied at Columbia University as an Obama Foundation Scholar before pursuing his passion in education research.

Clint Bressler
Graduate Research Assistant (MA)

Clint Bressler is a first year MA student in York University’s Linguistics program. He received his BA from the University of Calgary for Linguistics with a concentration in Applied Linguistics through both indigenous language studies and language teaching and education. His current research interests are Sociolinguistics, specifically language and power, language and advertising, language attitudes and linguistic capitalism.   

Team UBC

Sandra Zappa-Hollman

Sandra is Associate Professor & Director of Academic English Programming at UBC. Her research draws on sociocultural theories to examine the experiences of multilingual higher education students as they interact with various academic discourse socialization agents in English-medium settings. Her main motivation to engage in such projects is to generate insights that contribute to a heightened understanding of the challenges and affordances of diverse learners, hoping this knowledge will lead to fostering and supporting practices grounded in asset-oriented ideologies that value multilingualism, multiculturalism, and diversity across all aspects of identity as resources for the individual and society at large.  Sandra enjoys outdoor adventures and contemplating nature. 

Serikbolsyn Tastanbek
Graduate Research Assistant (PhD)

Serikbolsyn Tastanbek is a first-year PhD student in TESL at the University of British Columbia. An English teacher since 2014, he has a BEd in TEFL and an MA in Multilingual Education. Through his research and activism focused on multilingual approaches and translanguaging in TEFL, Serikbolsyn hopes to make teacher education more linguistically and culturally inclusive. He also loves his cat Louis, who is in Kazakhstan for now, and growing plant collection in Vancouver.

Masaru Yamamoto
Graduate Research Assistant (PhD)

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