Vanesa Sabala

Vanesa Sabala


  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Personal Statement 


I have been a member of the Strathclyde Spanish teaching team since 2000. I began as a Teaching Assistant with only a couple hours of teaching each week, but year after year I have increased my hours becoming a permanent and valuable member of staff.

I was promoted to Teaching Fellow Grade 7 in 2013 and since then I have overseen the first- and second-year coordination, I have been the first point of contact for students and have been integral the development of the courses and exams. 

I recall vividly one of the many moments where my dedication to teaching was affirmed. When I received feedback for my tutoring where a student said: ‘There has never been a class she has taught without inspiring levels of enthusiasm, benefiting not only myself but the entire class.’ The feedback not only brought me great joy but also helped me realise how important to me it is to cultivate genuine passion for the subject matter which I love so much. Witnessing the positive impact from my teaching drives me to improve my abilities as an educator at every possible turn and solidifies my belief in the truly powerful nature of passionate teaching. My efforts rewarded via my nominations for “Most Enthusiastic Tutor” and “Going the Extra Mile” at the Teaching Excellence awards, and in 2018 I won “Best in Hass Teaching Excellence Award.” as well as being shortlisted for the same award this year (2023).

My current research interest lies in modern foreign languages (MFL) pedagogy and extends to language policy and strategy, which can be viewed as a continuation of the development of my pedagogical skillset and interests (from personal teaching experience and PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching). I am particularly interested in Decolonisation of the Spanish Language and have applied what I have learned to my classes, and when I assisted in designing the courses. As evidence of my knowledge, I delivered multiple talks on the decolonisation of Modern Languages – at the Teaching and Learning Experience Sharing (TLES) and at the University of Strathclyde for colleagues of other departments.

My multidisciplinary background in Sociology and in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and professional experience in Translation and Interpretation also allows provides me with a breadth of potential research opportunities.  

Over the years I collaborated with different departments, and I did translation and interpretation work for several MOOC courses run by CELCIS; Celtic Football Club and Film Festivals. 

In 2019, I completed a PgCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education which allowed me to become Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  

I am involved in the Anti-Racial group where we discuss multiple ways to improve the Humanities department’s racial awareness and inclusivity.  We tackle many contemporary issues, and it has been a truly insightful experience.

This past academic year I developed my scholarship in Decolonising of the Spanish language, and I presented Decolonising the curriculum: A case study at Strathclyde University at two conferences: Advance HE EDI conference and AULC Language Conference. I am particularly interest in developing my research related to Decolonising Modern Languages.  

This year I helped organise the re-launch of the Teaching and Scholarship seminars. The seminars are a space to share good practices, ideas and other material for Teaching and Scholarship members of staff. I organised one of the seminars where I introduced The Women Legacy project which led to a collaboration with the University and student placements in History and Translation. 

During first year student’s introductions, I introduce the UN Sustainable Development Goals in line with the University’s strategic plan.   

 Teaching Interests 

  • R4107/8 Spanish 1A/B (Coordinator) 
  • R4206/7 Spanish 2A/B (Coordinator) 
  • R4200 Independence And Isolation In Spain And Latin America (1 Module)
  • R4378/R4407 Translation Studies (Module on Audio-visual translation) 
  • R4502 Language Spoken Honours -Interpreting & Presentations 
  • R4901 Ibml5 Spanish: Intercultural Mediation 



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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • El Humor es cosa seria

    Translated title of the contribution: Humour (in comedies) is a serious thingSabala, V. & Hadida, M. E., 1 Jun 1997, Cine e Imaginario Social. Mallimacci, F. & Marrone, I. (eds.). 1 ed. Buenos Aires, Vol. 1. p. 49-72 23 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter