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Who will be I taught by? 

You will be taught by experienced language instructors who are all (near) native speakers of the language they teach. The target language (Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese or Spanish) will be used as the primary medium of instruction and interaction, to enable you to practise speaking, listening, reading and writing from the beginning. Multimedia materials are regularly used in class and to support teaching

If you have any questions, please contact languages_for_all@aston.ac.uk

Languages for All - Teaching Team

Aurelia Robert- Director of Languages for All and teaching Associate in French

Aurelia Robert

Room: MB 769
Phone: 0121 204 3775
Email: a.robert@aston.ac.uk

Qualifications and Education:

  • ·Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • ·Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Practice in Higher Education
  • ·DESS de Traduction spécialisée en culture et médias
  • ·Maîtrise de Langues Etrangères Appliquées mention affaires et commerce
  • ·Maîtrise de Langues Etrangères Appliquées mention traductio

Teaches on:

  • ·LF1005 French Language Skills 1
  • ·LF1013 & LF1014 French Beginners
  • ·LF2016 Reading the French Press
  • ·LF3002 French Language Skills 3
  • ·LF3203 Dissertation
  • ·YAP supervision

Céline Benoit- Teaching Associate in French


Room: NW912
Phone: 01212043322
Email: c.benoit@aston.ac.uk

Céline Benoit is a Teaching Associate in French and LTS Outreach Coordinator at Aston University, and is studying for a PhD in Sociology. She started her research in the field of Irish education at University College, Dublin and later worked as a French language assistant at Saint Patrick's Grammar School, Dublin. On completion of her Masters Degree on the Irish primary school system, she moved to the West Midlands, UK, where she taught as a French Lector at the University of Wolverhampton for two years before moving to Aston University. She is continuing her research on elementary schools in the West Midlands.

Qualifications and Education

  • PhD in Sociology (ongoing)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Practice in Higher Education, with Distinction
  • Master II in English - Research in British Civilisation, First Class Honours 
  • B.A in English and French as a Foreign Language, First Class Honours


  • LU1005 Professional Development Reflection I (course convenor)

  •  LU3001 Representations of Minorities (course convenor)

  •  LF1013 and LF1014 French for Beginners I and II (course convenor)

  •  LF1009 and LF1010 French Intermediate I and II (course convenor)

Conference Papers

  • The representation of religious communities in Religious Education syllabi: a comparison of the national guidelines and the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus, IPC conference, Aston University, 17.06.2014
  •  Échange et communication : la religion à l’école primaire dans le comté des Midlands de l’Ouest, Exchanges(s) : concepts, stakes and dynamics, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, 18.11.2011
  • The Local and the global – Représentation de la diversité religieuse à l’école primaire en Angleterre : communautés locales et immigration internationale, 51e Congrès de la SAES, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, 20.05.2011
  • Nouveaux territoires de formation dans les écoles primaires en Angleterre : études de cas à Birmingham et Wolverhampton, Journée d’études sur les nouveaux territoires de l’éducation et des apprentissages, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, 15.11.2010
  •  Pratiques religieuses dans les écoles primaires en Angleterre : l’évolution des pratiques religieuses au sein de la société anglaise, Religion et société au Royaume-Uni (XIXe-XXIe siècles), Université de Rennes 2, 08.10.2010
  • Les enseignants et les élèves en Irlande : nouveaux horizons?, À l`horizon – 50e Congrès de la SAES, Lille, 21.05.2010
  • Les écoles multiconfessionnelles en Irlande : de nouveaux territoires de formation, Journée d’études sur les nouveaux territoires de formation, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, 16.11.2009
  • Religion in Education in Ireland and in England, New Research Conference Paper, University of Wolverhampton, 01.07.2009

Membership of Professional Organisations

  • British Educational Research Association (BERA) 
  • British Sociological Association (BSA)

George Jones-Course Director for International Business and Modern Languages (IBML) and Teaching Associate for French

George Jones

Room: MB761
Phone: 01212043768
Email: g.w.jones@aston.ac.uk

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla- Lecturer in Spanish and Latin American Studies and Head of Spanish


Room: NW15
Phone: 0121 204 3796 
Email: s.panichelli@aston.ac.uk

I obtained my B.A. and M.A. in Romance Philology (French and Spanish) from the Katholieke Universiteit van Leuven (KUL, Belgium) in 2000. That same year I was also awarded my Teacher’s Certificate in Romance Philology and subsequently a Complementary Degree in Spanish Language and Culture including a stay of six months at the Instituto de Literatura y Lingüística de La Habana (Cuba). I obtained my PhD in 2006 at the Universidad de Granada (Spain).
In 2004 I published an extended version of my Master’s Degree Dissertation in collaboration with a colleague from the Universidad de Granada: Gabo y Fidel. El paisaje de una amistad (Espasa Calpe). The book was translated into six languages. My most recent monograph analyses the testimony in Reinaldo Arenas’ Pentagony (Tamesis Books, publication in progress).
My current research focuses on the impact of Humanitarian Aid on collective identity construction and alteration, and more specifically on the case of the Cuban Internationalist Solidarity Programme. In the summer of 2014, I was awarded the British Council Researcher Links grant, which allowed me to start a collaboration with the Cuban Heritage Collection (University of Miami) and create an archive entitled “Life Stories of Cuban Internationalist Healthcare Professionals”.
I teach Spanish language modules and thematic modules related to Latin America. My research focuses on Caribbean Studies from an interdisciplinary point of view, bridging the areas of Cultural Studies, Sociology and Oral History.

Qualifications and Education

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 
  • PhD in Hispanic Philology – Universidad de Granada (Spain) 
  • Complementary Studies in Spanish Language and Culture - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) 
  • Teacher’s Certificate in 
  • MA in Romance Languages – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) 
  • BA in Romance Languages – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) 


  • LS1019: Introduction to Latin America
  • LS2017: Contemporary Latin America
  • LS3004: Final Year Dissertation
  • LS3012: Human Rights in Latin America
  • LU3001: Representation of Minorities
  • LS2400/LS2401: Intermediate Spanish


I work as a freelance author and reviewer of Spanish textbooks for the US educational system.



  • El testimonio en la Pentagonía de Reinaldo Arenas (Tamesis Books, publication in progress) 
  • Gabo y Fidel. El paisaje de una amistad. Stéphanie Panichelli and Angel Esteban, Barcelona: Espasa, 2004.
    Translated into English, Polish, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean and Turkish.
  • Atando Cabos. Workbook – Student Activities Manual, New Jersey, Pearson Education/Prentice Hall, 2011 (with online version on www.myspanishlab.com).
  • Hoy día. Spanish for Real Life. Workbook – Student Activities Manual (4th edition), New Jersey, Pearson Education/Prentice Hall, 2010 (with online version on www.myspanishlab.com).

Journal Articles

  • With Severine Hubscher-Davidson. “Educating for Sustainability in Language Degrees: A Tale of Two Case Studies”. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (publication in progress)
  • “Autofiction as a fictional metaphorical self-translation: The case of Reinaldo Arenas’ El color del verano.” Journal of Romance Studies, Vol. 15 (Spring 2015), Issue I: 29-53.
  • "Celestino antes y después del alba". Revista Internacional d’Humanitats, 23 (Aug.-Dec. 2011): 27-38.
  • “La nostalgia y el exilio: comparación entre  “Final de un cuento” de Reinaldo Arenas y Paso a nivel de Manuel Díaz Martínez”, in Piney, Grace and Pancrazio, James. Cuba: Arte y Literatura en exilio, Legua editorial, Valencia, 2011, pp. 45-54.
  • “Una novela inédita de Reinaldo Arenas”. Revista Caribe 11: 2 (Winter 2008-2009): 51-60.
  • “Otra vez el mar… Los cantos de Reinaldo Arenas”. Revista Hispanocubana 30 (Jan.-Apr. 2008): 125-142.
  • “Mariel, veinticinco años después”. Revista Sinalefa 10 (Jan.-Apr. 2005): 18-21.
  • “García Márquez y Cuba desde la perspectiva de César Leante”. Creación y Exilio. Memorias del I Encuentro Internacional Con Cuba en la distancia. Cádiz: ed. Hispano cubana, 2003. 182-188.
  • “Entrevista a Silvio Rodríguez”. Somos Jóvenes (Havana) 204 (Feb.-Mar. 2002): 5-9.

Book Reviews

“El regreso del padre pródigo”. Review of the novel Salidas de emergencias by Alexis Romay (Baile del Sol, 2007) Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana (Madrid) 44 (Spring 2007): 268-269.

Other Publications

Research Interests

  • Cuban International Solidarity Programmes
  • Oral History
  • Testimony in contemporary Latin American literature
  • Cuban history and literature

Papers Delivered

  • “Cuban Doctors in the Sandinista Nicaragua. Sharing Memories”, “Oral History and Cuba: A Changing Society?”, One-day workshop with invited speakers, Aston University, Birmingham, 23 April 2015.
  • “Roundtable on Archival Research”, LSS Research Seminars Series, Aston University, Birmingham, 22 April 2015.
  • “From pride to humiliation: an Oral History project in Hialeah”, Hispanic Seminars Series, University of Birmingham, 11 February 2015.
  • “Life stories of Cuban health workers in international solidarity missions”, Poder y Democracia: Las multiples voces de la Historia Oral, XVIII Congreso de la IOHA (International Oral History Association), July 10, 2014. 
  • “Life stories of Cuban internationalist health professionals”, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami, June 17, 2014. 
  • “Blogging: a new way of life writing in Cuba: the case of Dr. Eloy A. González”, AHGBI Conference, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, March 25, 2013. 
  • “Autobiographic Novel vs. Autofiction: Reinaldo Arenas’ Pentagony”, Writing Lives Symposium, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick, May 25, 2012. 
  • “Autofiction as a literary revenge: Reinaldo Arenas’ The Color of Summer”, AHGBI Conference, Stirling University, Stirling, United Kingdom, April 2, 2012. 
  • “Cultures of Latin America”, Languages and Translation Studies Conference, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom, June 14, 2011. 
  • “Paula Pérez Alonso’s No sé si casarme o comprarme un perro: from crisis to recovery”, SECO- LAS (Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies) Annual Meeting: “Crisis and Recovery in the Americas", New Orleans, USA, April 16-18, 2009.
  • “El color del verano de Reinaldo Arenas: ¿ficción o testimonio?”. 61st Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, Kentucky, April 18, 2008.
  • “Otra vez el mar... Los cantos de Reinaldo Arenas”. 2007 SECOLAS (Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies) Annual Meeting: “Contesting Images of Latin America”, San José, Costa Rica, April 20, 2007.
  • “Qué dura fue la vida de Reinaldo Arenas”, Race, Revolution and Representation: New Perspectives on Latin America, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, USA, February 24, 2007.
  • “Celestino antes del alba: ¿una novela testimonial?”, Con Cuba en la distancia, Universidad de Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain, November 9, 2004.
  • “La pentagonía de Reinaldo Arenas: el testimonio de un autor perseguido”, XII Conferencia de Literatura de Estudiantes Graduados, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, October 23, 2004.
  • “Cirilo Villaverde versus Reinaldo Arenas: el amor y el erotismo”, Erotismo y representación de la mujer en la cultura latinoamericana y caribeña, Casa de las Américas, Havana, Cuba, February 21, 2002.
  • “García Márquez y Cuba desde la perspectiva de César Leante”, Con Cuba en la distancia, Universidad de Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain, November 8, 2001. 

Workshop organised

“Oral History and Cuba: A Changing Society?”, One-day workshop with invited speakers, Aston University, Birmingham, 23 April 2015.


British Council Researcher Links Grant, Spring 2014.

PhD Supervision

If you are interested in doing a PhD in Latin American culture or politics, please contact me for an informal discussion of topics and funding opportunities. Currently I am interested in the following topics:

  • Autofiction in Latin American Literature
  • Documentary novel in Latin American Literature
  • Oral History in Latin America

Manuel Mayoral-Duran- Teaching Associate in Spanish

Manuel Mayoral-Durán

Room: TBC
Phone: TBC
Email: m.mayoral-duran@aston.ac.uk
Office hours: TBC

 I graduated in 2009 from Universidad de Extremadura (Spain) with a 5-year degree in Modern Languages, specialising in English language, linguistics, literature, history, and teaching. As part of the degree I had the chance to study two years abroad, at the National University of Ireland and at Københavns Universitet (University of Copenhagen) which offered me the opportunity to gain a deep knowledge on my three main academic interests at the time: linguistics, literature, and my long-held passion, teaching. Throughout the five years I studied British and American history and literature, Linguistics (with a strong focus on Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics), translation (both English-Spanish and Spanish-English), and pedagogy. During that time, I also obtained a professionally-oriented degree in Software Development.

My first experience in UK was a a transcreator/content editor in London before joining  the Hispanic Studies department at University of Kent as a Spanish Lector. Simultaneously, due to a strong personal interest in Latin American issues, I successfully completed an MA degree in Hispanic Studies with an MA dissertation entitled Historia,  mito y ficción literaria en El general en su laberinto de Gabriel García Márquez (History, Myth, and Fiction in Gabriel García Márquez’s The General in His Labyrinth). It was then when I had the chance to develop what would become my main research interests: Latin American politics and history, with a strong focus in Venezuela and Cuba, and oral history and testimony in the creation of modern myth.

After completing my MA, I was offered a position as Assistant Lecturer. I taught Spanish at all levels and lectured a professionally-oriented module on translation and interpreting from Spanish into English and from English into Spanish. From October 2014, I complemented my role as Assistant Lecturer with a new position as Spanish Language Lector in the Centre for English and World Languages at University of Kent.

In January 2016, I joined Aston University as a Teaching Associate in the  School of Languages and Social Sciences, teaching Spanish language at different levels and the module Spanish in the World, which focuses on the different manifestations of Spanish from a linguistic and cultural perspective.

I am currently working towards starting a PhD in which I will develop further all my research interests.

Dr Olga Castro-Lecturer in Translation Studies and Spanish


Room: NX08 
Phone:  0121 204 3752
Email: o.castro@aston.ac.uk 
Twitter:  @olgacastro80

After gaining my first degree in Media Studies at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, I moved to Vigo and completed my degree in Translation and Interpreting. I gained my Ph.D. in Translation Studies (with the European Doctorate Mention) also at the University of Vigo in 2010, for which I was awarded the PhD Extraordinary Prize. Having taught at the Universidade de Vigo, Spain, and the University of Exeter, I joined Aston in 2011 as lecturer in Translation Studies and Spanish. Since 2014 I am Fellow of the Higher Academy. My research focuses primarily on the political role of translation in the construction of gender and cultural/national identities in the field of Hispanic Studies, with a focus on the Galician context. I am especially interested in exploring different feminist approaches to Translation Studies (e.g. historiography, literature, cultural studies and linguistics), in the politics of translation in minorized and non-hegemonic cultures, in the transnational travels of texts, and also in self-translation in multilingual contexts. Other research interests include areas like Gender and Media Studies, Feminist Linguistics and Galician Studies.

Qualifications and Education

  • PhD in Translation Studies -- with European Mention; PhD Extraordinary Prize (Universidade de Vigo, Spain)
  • MRes (Diploma of Advanced Studies) in Translation and Paratranslation (Universidade de Vigo, Spain)
  • BA (Licenciatura) in Translation and Interpreting (Universidade de Vigo, Spain)
  • BA (Licenciatura) in Journalism (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy     
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice in Higher Education (Aston University, 2014)
  • Certificate in Teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language (Instituto Cervantes, Spain, 2010)
  •  Certificado de Aptitud Pedagógica, CAP (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, 2007) 


Undergraduate Modules

  • LI3002 Interpreting Spanish
  • LI3005 LSP Translation
  • LS3004 Final Year Dissertation (supervision)
  • LI2008 Communication Across Cultures
  • LS2019 Spanish Media and Journalism
  • LU2001 Migrant and Transnational Cinema (Spanish)
  • LS1001 Spanish Language Skills

Research Interests

The principal direction of my research concerns the political role of translation in the construction of gender and cultural/national identities in the field of Hispanic Studies, with a focus on the Galician context. Having identified that at present there is little dialogue between Translation Studies and Feminist Theory within the context of Hispanic and Galician Studies, I intend to open up new avenues of dialogue, enriching the field of Translation Studies through interdisciplinary encounters with feminist historiography, literature, cultural studies and linguistics.

  • Other research interests include:
  • Feminist Theory
  • Feminist Linguistics
  • Ideology and Translation
  • Minority Languages and Translation
  • Self-translation in the Iberian context
  • Galician Translation Studies
  • Galician Literature translated into English
  • Gender and Media Studies 


Articles in refereed journals

Book chapters

Peer ReviewsI have written blind peer-reviews for The Translator, Target, Madrygal, the European Journal of Women’s Studies, Gender and Language, Lectora, revista de dones i sexualitat, Women Studies International Forum, Estudos de Lingüística Galega.

Consultant EditorI am a consultant editor of Galicia 21: Journal of Contemporary Galician Studies, ed. by Martin Veiga and David Miranda [www.galicia21journal.org] 

PhD Supervision

I am currently supervising a PhD thesis on 'Translation, Gender and Empire: Women Arabic Translators in Victorian Britain’, and welcome PhD applications in any area related to my research.I have been external examiner of PhD thesis at the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (2016 and 2015), Universidade de Vigo (2015), University of Manchester (2014), and Universitat de Valencia (2013). I have also examined an MRes thesis at University College Cork (2015).

Ghizlane Lafdi – Teaching Associate in Arabic


Room: NW911
Phone: 01212043911
Email: g.lafdi@aston.ac.uk


Certificate in Education (FE) & Bachelor degree in Linguistics and English Literature

Eneida Haseler – Teaching Associate in Portuguese


Room: NX01
Email: t-haselere@aston.ac.uk

Qiaochao Zhang– Teaching Associate in Mandarin Chinese


Room: NW911 
Phone: 01212043073
Email: q.zhang9@aston.ac.uk


MSc in Business Management, Diploma in Public Service Interpreting, PGCert in Higher Education & Diploma in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. Full Member of Chartered Institute of Linguists.


Qiaochao Zhang obtained her Master degree in Business Management followed her undergraduate study in International Business and English with a distinction. She pursued her career in teaching Chinese as a second language after. She is a qualified Chinese language teacher and also an experienced Chinese-English interpreter. She taught Chinese at all levels, from Ab Initio to advanced level, in both universities and colleges in prior to her post in Aston University. She joined Aston University in 2008. She is the convenor of Chinese courses in UWLP. She is now undertaking PhD research in applied linguistics and education. 



Xu Geng-Teaching Associate in Mandarin Chinese

 Robert Fox- Teaching Associate in Japanese

robert fox

Room: NW820C
Phone: 0121 204 3177
Email: r.a.fox@aston.ac.uk

Robert started teaching English in 1989 in Japan. He lived in Nagoya City for 20 years and taught English for 15 years in Japanese universities. He was a Lecturer in English at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies.

He joined Aston University, his alma mater, as a member of staff in 2008 to teach a variety of courses in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) within the Centre for English Language and Communication at Aston (CELCA). He has also taught modules related to Discourse Analysis and Systemic Function Grammar on undergraduate programmes within the School of Languages and Social Sciences (LSS).

He is currently Director of the Year Abroad Programme for international students from Japanese universities and Co-Director of the Pre-sessional English Programmes. From October 2013, he will be launching the teaching of Japanese language at Aston University with the Japanese for Beginners modules, part of the University-Wide Language Programme (UWLP). 

 Mitsue Arai- Teaching Associate in Japanese


 Languages for All- Administrative Team Details:

Gosia Dzierdzikowska , Languages for All Adminsitrator