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Dr Inma Alvarez Puente

Photographic portrait of female in a garden

Profile summary

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Professional biography

I have over 30 years' experience teaching undergraduate Modern Languages and Dance courses at higher education institutions in the USA, UK and Spain. Since 2016 I have been managing programmes at postgraduate level, first as Programme Leader of the Doctorate in Education (EdD), and currently as Director of Postgraduate Research Studies in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. I am also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2019.
I am currently external examining doctoral programmes in education at University College London and the University of Central Lancashire. In the past I worked as external examiner for the undergraduate programmes of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and the Language Centre at the University of Leeds (2010-2015) and the BA (Hons) Theatre Dance, Goldsmith/The Laban Centre. Awarded by City University, London (1999-2004).

Research interests

I have done research on intercultural competence in language education, intercultural communication, and technology enhanced education.I am also interested in performing arts research, specifically in how these arts are documented and disseminated.

I have experience as a Masters, PhD and EdD supervisor and examiner in both Modern Languages and the arts.

I am also a reviewer for Journal of Movement Arts Literacy and Danzaratte.​ I am currently a member of various dance associations: 


Teaching interests

In the field of languages I have taught general language courses at all levels as well as courses for specific purposes (e.g. business Spanish, Latin American literature, Contemporary Spain, translation and interpreting) at the University of Michigan (USA), University of St. Andrews and University of Dundee (Scotland), University of Wolverhampton and University of Northampton (England). At the Open University, I have contributed to the development of all modules in the Spanish programme from beginners to advanced, including contributions to print, audiovisual and online resources and residential schools materials. I have also been involved in the development and piloting of an electronic European Language Portfolio (ELP) for adults and in the development of Beginners' Chinese and Italian modules.

I have also teaching experience in the area of Dance Studies. I have taught dance anthropology at the London Contemporary Dance School and dance analysis and notation at the Conservatorio Superior de Danza “María de Ávila” in Madrid. I have also been an external examiner for the BA (Hons) Theatre Dance, Goldsmith/The Laban Centre as well as an e-tutor in the dance programme at the University of Surrey

I have also developed a range of Open Educational Resources for languages as well as for dance students.

More recently, I have designed and developed modules for postgraduate studies for our doctoral programmes.

External collaborations

Since 2014 I have been part of EMPOWER, an action programme to support new modes of teaching and learning in European higher education institutions.

Recently I have been involved in:

  • Language Acts and Worldmaking with colleagues at King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Westminster (2016-2021). This is one of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's OWRI (Open World Research Initiative) projects. My work is based on the strand ‘Diasporic identities and the politics of language teaching’ which aims to investigate the role of modern language teachers in a changing linguistic, social and cultural landscape.
  • Early career mobility and well-being of female doctoral holders (2020-2021), a scholarly project funded by PRAXIS, our Scholarship and Innovation Centre.

Previously I participated in the following national and international research and scholarly projects.

  • Pas en Avant: Community Integration through Dace-Based Pedagogy in the Lake Chad Region, AHRC funded project led by the University of Leeds (2019-2020). This is a network project that aims at evaluating the impact of dance-based pedagogy in social and cultural learning among refugees in areas of conflict.
  • LEAP (Learning English Audio Pilot) project with the British Council in Sub-Sahara Africa (2013-2015). I was responsible for the Monitoring and Evaluation of audio technology and materials in primary schools in Nigeria and South Africa and secondary schools in Ethiopia and Tanzania.
  • MAGICC  (Modularising Multilingual and Multicultural Academic Communication Competence for BA and MA level) project.  A life-long learning European project (2011-2014) funded by the Education and Culture DG (Lifelong Learning Programme).
  • Contexts, Culture and Creativity: Enriching E-Learning in Dance, a JISC-funded project (2012) with the University of Surrey.
  • Performing Languages, a life-long learning European project (2011-2013) on drama, language and intercultural learning. Funded by the Education and Culture DG (Mobility projects).
  • CEFcult (Online CEF-based assessment of oral proficiency for intercultural professionals). Funded by the Education and Culture DG (KA2 Multilateral projects) with several European universities (2009-2011).
  • Emotion and moral value in art, with several Spanish universities (2009-2011). Funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain.
  • Collaborative Models Project, with several Brisitsh HEIs (2007-2008). Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
  • The expression of subjectivity in the arts, a collaboration between several Spanish universities (2006-2008). Funded by the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Spain.

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
CREET: Language and Literacies Research ClusterClusterFaculty of Education and Language Studies


Externally funded projects

Language Acts and Worldmaking
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Jul 201630 Jun 2021AHRC Arts & Humanities Research Council

Our project is inspired by the conviction that language learning plays a vital role in our globalised world, not as a neutral instrument of globalization—a commercialised skill set—but as a means to understand and critically engage with the world. As Franz Fanon put it: ‘To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture’. For us, ‘to take on’ means both to acquire and to combat. Our context, therefore, is recent research that places language and multilingualism at the heart of attempts to rethink, from transnational and post-national perspectives, the dominant academic paradigms of national literature departments, programmes and research. The Open University will be leading strand 5 of the project: “Diasporic identities and the politics of modern language teaching”. As cultural transmitters, modern languages practitioners must make sense of and transfer cultural concepts, behaviours, values and attitudes as they seek to establish inter-connectedness among distinct worlds. Embodying Astrid Erll’s concept of ‘traveling memory’ (Erll, 2011), they are in a position to take advantage of new possibilities—in a world of communication flows and great migrant mobility—‘for shaping post-national citizenship and for creating new lines of solidarity within the global arena’ (Assmann, 2014, p. 548). The importance and sophistication of their work—which is fundamental to any contemporary discussion of ‘language acts and worldmaking’— is often under-valued or neglected and too often accorded second-class status in research-based Modern Language departments. Teachers’ cognition about their work—as well as their actual pedagogical practice—is influenced by beliefs and contextual factors that determine the values and attitudes they reveal to learners. As Duff and Uschida explain, socio-cultural identities and beliefs, very important in educational practice as in other aspects of social life, ‘are co-constructed, negotiated, and transformed on an ongoing basis by means of language’ (1997, p. 452). This strand investigates this vehicular role of language in making sense of the world and its history and culture. We examine this in relation to the ways in which modern languages practitioners construct and express their professional and personal identities through language, as well as through consideration of how they go about the teaching of cultural concepts.


Team teaching in languages: a scoping review of approaches and practices in higher education (2024)
Álvarez, Inma; Fuertes Gutierrez, Mara and Gallardo Barbarroja, Matilde
Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 18(1) (pp. 59-77)

“I just filled out a form” Experiences of Doctoral Students with Disabilities, Long-term Health Conditions and/or Additional Study Needs (2024)
O'Connor, Grainne; O'Dell, Lindsay; Álvarez, Inma; Tipi, Nicoleta; Bowes-Catton, Helen and Luck, Rachael
Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 26(1) (pp. 211-226)

Professional doctorates reconciling academic and professional knowledge: towards a diffractive re-reading (2024)
Dennis, Carol Azumah; Aubrey-Smith, Fiona; Álvarez, Inma; Waterhouse, Philippa and Ferguson, Gillian
Higher Education Research & Development ((Early access))

Early career mobility and health and wellbeing of female doctorate holders: A narrative review of the international literature (2024)
Álvarez, Inma; Horáčková, Clare and Vseteckova, Jitka
Gender, Work & Organization ((early access))

Language learning experiences of postgraduate research students in the UK (2020)
Álvarez, Inma; Montoro, Carlos; de Medeiros, Ana; Kelly, Debra and Hazard, Alice
Language Learning Journal, 48(5) (pp. 672-684)

Multilingual and multicultural task-based learning scenarios: a pilot study from the MAGICC project (2015-05-01)
Álvarez, Inma and Pérez Cavana, Maria
Language Learning in Higher Education. Journal of the European Confederation of Language Centres in Higher Education (CercleS), 5(1) (pp. 59-82)

Non-formal drama training for in-service language teachers (2014-08)
Beaven, Ana and Álvarez, Inma
Scenario: Journal for Drama and Theatre in Foreign and Second Language Education, VIII(1)

Performing languages: an example of integrating open practices in staff development for language teachers (2013-01)
Alvarez, Inma; Beaven, Tita and Comas-Quinn, Anna
Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, 9(1) (pp. 85-92)

High aspirations: transforming dance students from print consumers to digital producers (2013)
Alvarez, Inma
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, Article 16

Foreign Language Education at the Crossroads: Whose Model of Competence? (2007)
Álvarez, Inma
Language, Culture and Curriculum, 20(2) (pp. 126-139)

Language teacher education for intercultural understanding (2006-05)
Garrido, Cecilia and Álvarez, Inma
European Journal of Teacher Education, 29(2) (pp. 163-179)

Translation skills for intercultural purposes: An on-line course for non-specialist learners of Spanish (2004)
Beaven, Tita and Álvarez, Inma
Language, Culture and Curriculum, 17(2) (pp. 97-108)

Consideraciones sobre la contribución de los ordenadores en el aprendizaje de lenguas extranjeras (2003)
Álvarez, I
Vida Hispánica, 28 (pp. 19-23)

Exploring perceptions of social presence among researching professionals (2022-12-13)
Waterhouse, Philippa; Dennis, Carol Azumah and Álvarez, Inma
In: Golam, Jamil and Morley, Dawn eds. Agile Learning Environments amid Disruption: Evaluating Academic Innovations in Higher Education during COVID-19 (pp. 155-171)
ISBN : 978-3-030-92978-7 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Cham

Language teachers and researchers as worldmakers (2022-02-17)
Álvarez, Inma; Cobo Palacios, Isabel; Fuertes Gutierrez, Mara and Puntil, Donata
In: Boyle, Catherine and Kelly, Debra eds. Language Acts and Worldmaking (pp. 1-40)
ISBN : 978-1-529-37230-4 | Publisher : John Murray Learning | Published : London

Researching from home. Doctoral research in a pandemic (2021-06)
Álvarez, Inma; Dennis, Carol Azumah and Waterhouse, Philippa
In: Ubachs, G. ed. The Envisioning Report for Empowering Universities (pp. 10-12)
Publisher : EADTU | Published : Maastricht, NL

A learning-centred blended model for professional doctorates (2018-04)
Álvarez, Inma
In: Ubachs, George and Konings, Lizzie eds. The Envisioning Report for Empowering Universities (pp. 34-36)
Publisher : European Association of Distance Teaching Universities | Published : Maastricht, The Netherlands

El cuerpo en movimiento: aspectos de la identidad y la evaluación de la danza (2016-11-30)
Álvarez, Inma
In: Alcaraz, María José and Bertinetto, Alessandro eds. Las artes y la filosofía. Problemas de Estética (pp. 217-278)
ISBN : 978-607-02-8427-4 | Publisher : Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, UNAM | Published : Ciudad de México

Ethical and aesthetic considerations in language MOOCs (2014-12)
Álvarez, Inma
In: Martín-Monje, Elena and Bárcena, Elena eds. Language MOOCs: Providing learning, transcending boundaries. Open Series (pp. 127-142)
ISBN : 978-3-11-042006-7 | Publisher : De Gruyter | Published : Warsaw

Supporting intercultural learning For beginners’ Chinese language learners at the Open University, UK (2012-12)
Álvarez, Inma and Kan, Qian
In: Jin, Lixian and Cortazzi, Martin eds. Researching Intercultural Learning: Investigations in Language and Education (pp. 209-234)
ISBN : 9780230321335 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan

El arte de recrear: el concepto de autenticidad en la danza (2012-11-23)
Alvarez, Inma
In: Giménez Morte, Carmen ed. La investigación de danza en España. 2012 (pp. 243-253)
ISBN : 978-84-940697-0-3 | Publisher : Ediciones Mahali | Published : Valencia

From paper to the web: the ELP in the digital era (2012-05-21)
Alvarez, Inma
In: Kühn, Bärbel and Perez Cavana, Maria Luisa eds. Perspectives from the European Language Portfolio: Learner autonomy and self-assessment (pp. 125-142)
ISBN : 978-0-415-67554-3 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Learning about Chinese-speaking cultures at a distance (2011-01)
Álvarez, Inma
In: Fenoulhet, Jane and Ros i Solé, Cristina eds. Mobility and Localisation in Language Learning: a View from Languages of the Wider World. Intercultural Studies and Foreign Language Learning (5) (pp. 145-172)
ISBN : 978-3-0343-0150-3 | Publisher : Peter Lang | Published : Oxford

Consideraciones éticas en la investigación de la danza (2010)
Álvarez, I.
In: VV, AA ed. La investigación en danza en España 2010 (pp. 175-185)
ISBN : 978-84-614-5439-6 | Publisher : Ediciones Mahalia | Published : Valencia, Spain

Strategies for acquiring intercultural communication (2008)
Álvarez, Inma; Beaven, Tita and Garrido, Cecilia
In: Hurd, Stella and Lewis, Timothy eds. Language Learning Strategies in Independent Settings (pp. 179-195)
ISBN : 978-1-84769-097-5 | Publisher : Multilingual Matters | Published : Bristol, UK

Strategies for the development of multicultural competence in language learning (2001-06)
Álvarez, Inma and Garrido, Cecilia
In: Coleman, James A.; Ferney, Derrik; Head, David and Rix, Rob eds. Language-learning futures : issues and strategies for modern language provision in Higher Education (pp. 150-163)
ISBN : 1902031873 | Publisher : CiLT Publications | Published : London

Destrezas interculturales en una comunidad virtual. El sitio A buen puerto de la Open University (2001)
Álvarez, Inma and Beaven, Tita
In: Gimeno Sanz, A. M. ed. Tecnologías de la información y de las comunicaciones en la enseñanza de E/LE, 5-8 de septiembre de 2001 (pp. 239-249)
ISBN : 84-9705-172-6 | Publisher : Universidad de Valencia

My EdD journey. OU graduates' stories (2020)
Preedy, Maggie and Álvarez, Inma eds.
Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes

Expression in the Performing Arts (2010)
Álvarez, Inma; Pérez, Héctor J. and Pérez-Carreño, Francisca
Álvarez, Inma; Pérez, Hector, J. and Pérez-Carreño, Francisca eds.
ISBN : 9781443819534 | Publisher : Cambridge Scholars Publishing | Published : Newcastle upon Tyne

La danza como intervención educativa en la tercera edad (2022-11)
Álvarez Puente, Inma; Botana Martín-Abril, Marta and Gracia, Rosaria
In : VII National Congress and IV International Dance Research (18-20 Nov 2022, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain) (pp. 447-452)

Investigación performativa en doctorados en danza en España (2020-11)
Botana, Marta and Álvarez Puente, Inma
In : La investigación en danza (19-21 Nov 2020, Madrid (online)) (pp. 423-428)

Danza a distancia. Ajustes en educación (2020)
Álvarez, Inma
In : Nuevos paradigmas: COVID19 y su huella en la gestión y creación dancística (22 May 2020, Online)

Panel discussion: what implications do digital culture & technology have for the future of modern languages research? (2019)
Álvarez, Inma
In : Mapping Multilingualism and Digital Culture (22 Jun 2017, King's College London)

Características distintivas de las danzas en los flashmobs (2018-11)
Álvarez, Inma
In : V Congreso Nacional y II Internacional La Investigación en Danza (16-18 Nov 2018, Seville) (pp. 373-382)

Prácticas curatoriales en el arte: el caso de la danza (2016)
Álvarez Puente, Inma
In : La investigación en Danza (25-27 Nov 2016, Facultad de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain) (pp. 79-93)

Rightly Beautiful: Dimensiones éticas y estéticas en la didáctica de las TIC (2013-03-22)
Alvarez, Inma
In : Seminario Permanente de Investigación del posgrado oficial de la UNED: Máster TIC-ETL (22 Mar 2013, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid)

Artistic value and spectators’ emotions in dance performances (2012-03)
Álvarez, Inma
In : Art, Emotion and value (4-8 Jul 2011, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain)

The CEFcult project: assessing oral proficiency in an intercultural professional context (2010-07)
Álvarez, Inma
In : Languages in Higher Education 2010: Raising the Standard for Languages (1-2 Jul 2010, London, UK)

Natural and artistic bodies in dance (2010)
Álvarez, Inma
In : Proceedings for the European Society of Aesthetics (27-29 May 2010, Udine, Italy)

Time as a strand of the dance medium (2009)
Álvarez, Inma
In : Proceedings of the IV Mediterranean Congress of Aesthetics, Art and Time (22-25 Jun 2008, Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan)

The expressive condition of the dancing body (2009)
Álvarez, Inma
In : 67th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Aesthetics (22-24 Oct 2009, Denver, USA)

Enhancing the ELP for the 21st Century (2009)
Álvarez, Inma; Tita, Beaven and Pérez Cavana, Maria Luisa
In : European Confederation of Language Centres in Higher Education (CercleS) Seminar, The Role of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the European Language Portfolio in Higher Education (17-19 Sep 2009, Padua, Italy)

Cultural frontiers of expressive strands in dance performances (2007)
Álvarez, Inma
In : XVIIth International Congress of Aesthetics, Aesthetics Bridging Cultures (9-13 Jul 2007, Ankara, Turkey)

Disciplined minds: fitting an intercultural dimension in language teaching (2005)
Álvarez, Inma
In : International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC) 6th Annual Conference, Europe Inside Out (9-11 Dec 2005, Brussels, Belgium)

Teachers roles and training in intercultural education (2004)
Álvarez, Inma and Garrido, Cecilia
In : CiLT Conference, Navigating the new landscape for languages (30 Jun - 1 Jul 2004, London)

Developing intercultural competence for the knowledge society: The Open University, A buen puerto website (2002)
Beaven, Tita and Álvarez, Inma
In : Setting the Agenda in Higher Education, CiLT (24-26 Jun 2002, Manchester, UK)

Supporting the teaching of pronunciation in the language curriculum (2020-04)
Álvarez, Inma; Fuertes Gutiérrez, Mara and Bárkányi, Zsuzsanna
European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

What is the early mobility of female doctoral holders, what types and subjects were their doctoral degrees in and what is the reported impact of early career mobility on physical and mental health and well-being of female doctoral holders? A systematic review (2020)
Vseteckova, Jitka; Álvarez, Inma and Horackova, Clare
Prospero - International Prospective register of Systematic Reviews

Language Provision in UK Modern Foreign Languages Departments 2019 Survey (2019-12)
Polisca, Elena; Wright, Vicky; Álvarez, Inma and Montoro, Carlos
University Council of Modern Languages, United Kingdom.

A Framework for the Development of Researching Professionals (2019-04)
Lindsay, Hilary and Álvarez, Inma
European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Language Provision in UK MFL Departments 2018 Survey (2018-10-31)
Álvarez, Inma; Montoro, Carlos; Campbell, Caroline and Polisca, Elena
University Council of Modern Languages