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Dr Rola Naeb

Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL and Programme Leader for the MA Applied Linguistics for TESOL

Department: Humanities

Rola is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL with special interests in education technology and the linguistic integration of adult migrants.

I completed my BA in English Language and Literature from Aleppo University in Syria in 1998.  I then went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Linguistics in 1999 and another in Translation and Interpreting in 2001.  In 2004, I finished my MA in Applied Linguistics at Durham University with focus on English language teaching and educational technology.  In 2015, I got my PhD from Newcastle University.  In 2013, I joined Northumbria as a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, having worked for more than 8 years at Newcastle University as research assistant and part-time lecturer. 

0191 243 7768


  • 2015: PhD Applied Linguistics (Newcastle University)
  • 2004: MA Applied Linguistics, ELT, and Educational Technology (Durham University)
  • 2001: PG Diploma in Translation and Interpreting (Aleppo University) 
  • 1999: PG Diploma in Linguistics (Aleppo University)
  • 1998: BA in English Language and Literature (Aleppo University)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My main interests are in the field of Applied and Educational Technology and particularly, the use of user behaviour tracking technology for investigating learners’ behaviour.  My PhD research investigated the use of ‘User-Behaviour Tracking Technology to Investigate Focus on Form(s) and Meaning in a Technology- Enhanced Language Learning Environment’.  My more recent work focuses on the linguistic integration of low-educated adult migrants using technology-enhanced learning environment to teach the learners and distance learning solutions to train their teachers. I am also interested in expanding models and creating tools to facilitate language learning in traditional and technology-enhanced environments.

Professional Activity

Conference presentations and invited talks

  • Migration Showcase, Newcastle University (2017) Professional Development for Teachers of Adult Migrants 
  • Ich will Deutsch lernen Learning Portal, (2017), Expert Interview, Potentials of digital media in second language learning 
  • Education and Migration Conference, Durham University (2016) Teaching Adult Migrants and Training Their Teachers 
  • LESLLA Conference, Granada University (2016) TELL for LESLLA
  • LESLLA Conference, Granada University (2016) Plenary talk  The EU-Speak project
  • The Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants Symposium, Council of Europe (2016), Implications from the research for low educated migrant adults’ learning and their teaching 
  • Invited talk, Reading University (2016) Teaching Low-Educated Adult Migrants and Training Their Teachers
  • Northumbria Seminar Series (2016) Teaching Low-Educated Adult Migrants and Training Their Teachers
  • BAAL, Warwick University (2014) ‘Effectiveness of different types of input in technology-enhanced language learning environments’
  • Invited Talk, LESLLA Conference, (2014) Radboud University ‘the Digital Literacy Instructor’ 
  • BAAL/CUP seminar, Stornoway, Scotland (2014)   ‘Developing individualized technology-enhanced language learning materials for Low-Literate ESOL Learners ‘ with Martha Young Scholten and Enas Filimban

Funding awards and prizes

  • EU-Speak 3 (Co-Investigator, award value: €51,701)
  • Digital Literacy Instructor  (Award value: €15,000)
  • EU Networking Fund (Award value: £400)
  • Nomination for three student-led teaching awards 
  • ESRC Researcher Development Workshop fund



Young-Scholten, M. and Naeb, R. ‘Evidence for the feasibility and effectiveness of multi-lingual online training and development for teachers of low-literate adult migrants’ in Mishan, ESOL provision in Ireland and the UK: Challenges and Opportunities. A special volume in the Language and Migration Series published by Peter Lang.  

Naeb, R.  ‘Technology and innovation within and outside the LESLLA classroom’ in Peyton, J. and Young-Scholten, M. (ed.), Theory and Practice in Teaching LESLLA Learners. Multilingual Matters. 


Naeb, R. and Young-Scholten, M. (2017) ‘International training of teachers of low-educated adult migrants’ in Beacco, J.-C., Little, D., Krumm, H.-J. and Thalgott, Ph. (eds.) (2017). The Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants: Some Lessons from Research. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton in cooperation with the Council of Europe.

Seedhouse, P., Harris, A., Naeb, R., &  Üstünel, E. (2014) ‘The Relationship between Speaking Features and Band Descriptors: A Mixed Methods Study’. Research report produced for UCLES and the British Council. 53 pages.

Young, T., Sercombe, P., Sachdev, I., Naeb, R. and Schartner, A. (2013) ‘Success factors for international postgraduate students’ adjustment’. European Journal of Higher Education, 3 (2), p. 151-171

Naeb, R. and Young-Scholten, M. (2013) ‘EU-Speak: a snapshot of best practice in the teaching of low-educated adult immigrants across Europe’. European Shared Treasure, Research report produced for the Lifelong Learning Programme.

Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome enquiries from students interested in the implications of SLA theories and models on traditional and technology-enhanced environment. I also welcome enquiries from students interested in the linguistic integration and language learning by adult migrants.  

Current PhD Students:

  • Sam Jarad: Measuring Implicit and Explicit Linguistic Knowledge of Gender and Number Agreement Morphology: A Comparison between Foreign Language and Heritage Language Learners of Arabic
  • Hafez Karout: Evaluating and Benchmarking Linguistic Integration Practices beyond the ESOL Classroom 
  • Rim Day: Assessment and Testing in the ESOL classroom 
  • Amina Aldhaif: Syrian Refugees in the UK: the Journey of Linguistic and Cultural Identity Construction (Co-supervisor)

Teaching Interests

I have taught a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate modules. I have also led training sessions on research methodologies, quantitative research methods, and SPSS.   I am currently teaching Critical Approaches to Language Study at the undergraduate level and Issues and Trends in Classroom Language Teaching at the postgraduate level.


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