Dina Mehmedbegović-Smith

Dr Dina Mehmedbegovic-Smith is an Associate Professor of Education and Applied Linguistics at University College London, Institute of Education. Dina teaches on a range of programmes at PGCE, MA and doctoral level.

She was on the core IOE team developing the National English as an Additional Language (EAL) Workforce Strategy; a key staff member in the development of the new programmes addressing the needs of bilingual children: MA in Bilingual Learners in Urban Settings, PGCE EAL Pathway and MA TESOL pre-service, which she currently leads. Her previous roles also include: Deputy Director of the London Education Research Unit (2009-11) and the editor of the IOE publication the London Digest, with the brief of generating and sharing knowledge on key education issues in London and global cities. Her research focuses on attitudes to bilingualism/multilingualism, minority languages and positioning of languages in relation to domination, political power and language disappearance.

She is currently developing interdisciplinary work with colleagues from neuroscience aimed at providing a broader evidence base for advocating cognitive benefits of bilingualism in education and life-long learning. Her concept Healthy Linguistic Diet is an innovative approach to language learning and has been endorsed by the EU Commission in their report: Rethinking Language Education, as a part of the EU Language policy review.

Reflections of an academic on surviving the pandemic and move to online work: Lessons learnt and the long-term impact

This presentation will provide insights into the author’s personal experience of going from full time teaching, consultancy and international partnerships in person, to teaching and conducting all other professional engagements online. The author, who is based at University College London and who leads MA in Teaching English to Speakers of other languages pre- service, which is of the most popular MA programmes at UCL with 900 aplicants this year, will share her own experience of working around the unforseen crisis and changes academics in higher education endured during Covid 19 pandemic. This presentation aims to look at lessons learnt during the pandemic and its long term legacy on our current teaching and professional engagement.