Keynote Speakers' Profiles
Prof. Grit Alter (University College of Teacher Education Tyrol)
Prof. Dr. Grit Alter is Professor of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at the University College of Teacher Education in Tyrol. Previously, she worked as a research assistant for her PhD project on inter- and transcultural learning in the context of Canadian Young Adult fiction and as a lecturer and Deputy Professor at various universities.
Her research and teaching focusses on forms of cultural learning, using children’s young and adult literature in ELT, textbook research, media literacy, diversity education, and critical pedagogy. She has been involved in projects on picture books for advanced learners, critical textbook studies, and playful learning approaches from primary to tertiary education.
Dr. Fiora Biagi (Siena Italian Studies)
Dr. Fiora Biagi has been working for several years as a teacher of Italian language and culture for foreign students and has worked in the field of teacher training. She is an expert in the fields of Foreign Language Education, linguistics, Intercultural Studies, Intercultural Competence development and assessment.
Besides being a professor herself, she has been researching and contributing in those fields with several publications.
Dr. Lavinia Bracci (Siena Italian Studies)
Dr. Lavinia Bracci is the founder and director of Siena Italian Studies (SIS), which hosts educational exchange programs for undergraduate students as well as the Italian portion of the Graduate Program of International Development and Service organized by the International Partnership for Service-Learning.
She is an expert in the fields of full-immersion education, Service-Learning Pedagogy, teaching foreign languages, Intercultural Competence development and assessment and has collaborated as external expert with the Council of Europe for the creation of the RFCDC.
As well as being a professor, she has researched and contributed to these areas with several publications. Her research focus and interests lie in innovative pedagogies in the field of intercultural studies and international competence assessment.
Lena Hertzel (she/her) works as a research assistant in EFL Education at the University of Duisburg-Essen. She studied English and History at the University of Münster and graduated with a master’s degree (Master of Education für das Lehramt an Gymnasien und Gesamtschulen) in 2022. During her studies she spent a year abroad in Ghana to work as a volunteer at PEC School in Nsawam Adoagyiri.
Her main research interests revolve around inter- and transcultural learning, global citizenship education and anti-racist education. In addition, one of her core concerns is the consideration of Postcolonial Theories in ELE. Following up on this, her PhD project is concerned with decolonizing cultural learning.
Prof. Thorsten Merse (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Merse is Professor of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) with a focus on Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at the University of Duisburg-Essen, which he joined in 2021. Previously, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Münster and the University of Munich, where he received his PhD in 2017. During his postdoctoral period at the LMU, he also coordinated an interdisciplinary research network on teacher education as part of the BMBF-funded Quality Offensive Teacher Education.
In his research and teacher education, he focuses on gender and sexual diversity in foreign language teaching, especially from a queer-informed perspective. He is also interested in inter- and transcultural learning, literature pedagogy and digital education in foreign language teaching.
Prof. Christian Ollivier (Université de La Réunion)
Christian Ollivier is Professor for Linguistics and Language Education at the University of La Réunion. He is the head of the research lab Icare (Institut coopératif austral de recherche en education) and coordinates various projects such as Lingu@num, a European project on digital literacy and citizenship, as well as various national and international research groups.
His research interests include approaches to language didactics, the didactics of multilingualism, and digital technologies and language teaching and learning.
Jun.-Prof. Theresa Summer (University of Bamberg)
Prof. Dr. Theresa Summer has been Junior Professor of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg since 2021. Prior to this, she worked for several years as a doctoral candidate and lecturer at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, where she completed her doctorate in English language teaching. Since 2022, she has also been the co-director of the ZLB (Zentrum für Lehrerinnen- und Lehrerbildung) in the area of school practical studies.
Her research interests include learner perspectives in ELT, critical language pedagogy and taboos, pop culture, global education and ecopedagogy, and grammar education.