Elena Anna Maria Gandini
Elena teaches across a range of courses and workshops directed to international students, including pre-sessional and in-sessional language support, as well as courses for exchange students. Through her knowledge and skills in language testing and test development, Elena contributes to the work of the language testing and Language Academy team in the development of language and academic literacy exams. An experienced teacher trainer, Elena is also the academic lead for teacher training courses leading to Trinity CertTESOL at Language Academy.
Besides her teaching responsibilities, Elena is working on the development of online-delivered language and academic literacy exams. She has also conducted a research project on the assessment of bilingual competence in South Tyrol (Italy). An early career researcher, Elena has presented the results of her research in the field of language testing and multilingual assessment at various conferences and published papers in conference proceedings, as well as a chapter about teachers' education in Germany.
Elena (MA, CELTA) joined UCLan in 2015 as a research assistant working on several projects with the research team in English Language Testing, which produces English language exams at UCLan. In 2018, she joined the teaching staff at Language Academy as an EFL tutor working on the summer pre-sessional, before taking on a lectureship in ESOL/EFL with responsibility for Trinity CertTESOL summer intensive courses offered at Language Academy.
Prior to working at UCLan, Elena worked as a teacher for pupils with special educational needs and migrant pupils in a lower secondary school in Italy for two years, and then as an MFL teacher, lecturer and examiner in Germany for eleven years, mainly in the further and higher education sector (Italian Cultural Institute of Cologne, Bundessprachenamt, University of Muenster, Technical University of Public Administration in Cologne). Elena graduated with honours in Education in 2003 at Catholic University in Milan (Italy). Following a teaching placement in Austria, she decided to continue her postgraduate studies in the area of language teaching, joining the Postgraduate School of the University for Foreigners in Siena, qualifying as a Teacher of Italian as a Foreign Language (Postgraduate Diploma, MA level) in 2008.
During postgraduate school, she started working in Germany as an MFL teacher and examiner, where she developed a keen interest in language testing and assessment and resumed her studies in this area at Lancaster University. In 2014, she completed an MA in Language Testing at Lancaster University.
- Trainer Development Course, NILE, 2019
- DLL3, Deutsch Lehren Lernen Certificate, Goethe Institute London, 2018
- CELTA, Manchester Academy of English, 2016
- Prince 2 Foundation, Project Management Qualification, 2015
- MA, Language Testing, Lancaster University, 2014
- Postgraduate Diploma, Teaching Italian as a Foreign Language, Università per Stranieri di Siena (Italy), 2008
- Degree, Education, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milano, Italy), 2003
- Language Testing
- Bilingual Assessment
- Language Teaching
- Teacher Education
- English for Academic Purposes
- Academic Literacy
- CIOL, Member and Chartered Linguist
- UKALTA, Member
- EALTA, Individual Member
- ALTE, Individual Affiliate
- IATEFL, Individual Member
- BAAL Individual Member
- BALEAP Individual Member
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- Elena has been involved in different research projects during her time at UCLan, mainly in the area of language teaching and testing.
- 2015-date: ongoing development of language exams in all four skills, and assessment criteria for assessing writing and speaking skills
- 2016-date: ongoing development of an online version of language and academic literacy exams developed at UCLan
- 2018-date: reverse engineering of an exam of bilingualism (Italian / German) used in South Tyrol (Italy)
- 2019: development of a test of academic literacy for postgraduate students
- 2020-date: IELTS joint funded research program, 'Mind the gap. Unpacking IELTS Academic writing band descriptors to inform university admissions decisions.'
- IELTS Research Grant £19,927.69, 2018
- LTF, 2019: delivered presentation on 'Performance-based decision trees vs traditional assessment criteria: an exploratory study' at the Language Testing Forum, organised by UKALTA at Swansea University
- TLANG2, 2019: delivered presentation on 'Assessing learners’ translingual literacy across different CEFR levels' at the Language in Times of Change Conference at Stirling University
- NATESOL, 2019: delivered presentation on 'Improving feedback and feed-forward to support students’ writing development through an online test platform' at Manchester Metropolitan University
- University of Malta, 2019: delivered presentation on 'Code-switching and Translanguaging in Language Assessment in South Tyrol' at the 2nd International Conference on Bilingualism
- MAMP18, 2018: delivered presentation on 'Multilingual Assessment in South Tyrol' at the University of Tallinn
- CercleS, 2018: delivered presentation on 'Personalising feedback through computer-based language tests to promote learner involvement' at Polytechnic University of Poznan
- Innoconf, 2018: delivered presentation on 'Improving feedback through computer-based language assessment' at Liverpool University
- LTRG, 2016: delivered presentation on 'Developing evidence-based writing criteria' at Lancaster University Language Testing Research Group
- 2015: delivered teaching workshop on 'E-Learning und autonomes Lernen in universitaeren Fremdsprachenunterricht' at the University of Muenster (Germany)
- LTRG 2014: delivered presentation on 'Investigation into the validity of the listening section of Ele.IT-Junior' at Lancaster University Language Testing Research Group
- UniCert XIII Symposium: delivered workshop on 'Elektronische und netzbasierte Medien in UNIcert-Kursen' at Potsdam University
- 2011-2012: delivered teaching workshops 'Certificate l'italiano: linee teoriche e attività pratiche' at Sprachenfest Erlangen and Volkshochschule Munich; event linked to the presentation of the course book 'Con piacere 1-3' published by Klett Verlag
- 2008-2009: delivered teaching workshops on 'Learning by playing: teaching activities for pre-school and primary school children' at Volkshochschule Duesseldorf, Italian Cultural Institute Cologne, Hueber Verlag Munich, Volkshochschule Hamburg; event linked to the presentation of the course book 'Ambarabà 1-5' published by Hueber Verlag
- Italian Cultural Institute of Cologne, 2006: delivered presentation on 'Ele.IT-Junior: A Look at the Writing Assessment Criteria'
Use the links below to view their profiles: