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Dr Nuria Polo Perez

Lecturer - Spanish

Lecturer - Spanish in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures+44 (0) 191 33 42234
Research Student in the School of Education 


Dr Nuria Polo-Pérez is a Lecturer (teaching) in Spanish at the Centre for Foreign Language Study (CFLS), in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. She has taught Spanish since 2010 in different institutions in the UK, including the Instituto Cervantes in Leeds, the University of Leeds, and Durham University. She has also taught a variety of teacher training courses.

She holds a degree in Translation and Interpreting Studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid, an MA in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language from the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, and a PhD from Durham University.

Her doctoral thesis was entitled “Experiencing multilingual identities and interculturality through learning and socialising in languages: The ecologies of two language cafés”. Underpinned by social constructionism, an ecological approach to language research, and ethnographically-inspired methods of data collection, the study shed light on the co-construction of “language cafés” (public events which provide an informal learning space for (foreign) language socialisation) as meaningful sites for languaging and language socialisation, and explored their affordances for experiencing and performing one’s multilingual identities and interculturality. This study contributed to the field of informal language learning by focusing on how languages are lived intersubjectively, rather than merely learned or acquired, consistent with a poststructuralist view of language and intercultural learning as experiencing new ways of being in the world, and much more than the development of skills.

Dr Polo-Pérez’s research has developed the concept of multilingual social self. It refers to a self-concept that is co-constructed through multilingual social interaction and involves an image of self as able to socialise and flow in multilingual environments through the mobilisation of complex repertoires and multilingual subjectivities (e.g., the memories, emotions, and personal attachments linked to different languages). It is a multilingual self that disentangles itself from the institutional roles that teachers and students often have to play in the classroom setting.

Her research interests include translanguaging, multilingual repertoires, multilingual identities, languaging, intercultural communication, (pedagogical) translation, ecological approaches to language research, researching multilingually, and reflexivity.