Dr. Sandra Zappa-Hollman

Associate Professor
Director of Academic English Programming, Vantage College
she, her, hers


I am an applied linguist with a special interest in teaching English for academic purposes (EAP) and researching academic (English) discourse socialization of multilingual students in higher education contexts where English is the main instructional language. Other related areas of interest include language and content integration (CBI/CLIL), intercultural competence, feedback on L2 writing, curriculum and materials design, and language program evaluation. My work draws on socio-cultural theory (particularly Second Language Socialization), Social Network Theory, and the notion of Communities of Practice. More recently, my research as well as materials design and teaching are informed by Systemic Functional Linguistics and genre-based pedagogies.

For the past decade I have also been involved in academic program development and administration. Since 2014, I’m the director of the Academic English Program at UBC Vantage College (http://vantagecollege.ubc.ca/), a first year university program for international multilingual students at the University of British Columbia.



Academic socialization of bi/multilingual students: A multi-site case study at three Canadian universities Current

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – Insight Grant
Co-Investigator; PI Heike Neumann (Concordia); Co-I Saskia Van Viegen (York)

A case study of Canadian university instructors’ beliefs, dispositions, and perceptions of ability towards working with emergent multilingual undergraduate learners Current

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – Insight Development Grant
Principal Investigator
Graduate Research Assistants: Dmitri Detwyler (UBC), Greta Perris (UBC)

Project contact email: Teaching.Multilingual.Students@ubc.ca
Project status: data collection completed; currently engaged in data analysis

Underground literacies: The use of private academic support services by international EAL students Current

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – Insight Development Grant
Co-Investigator; PI Joel Heng-Hartse (SFU), Co-Investigator Tim Anderson (UVic)
Graduate Research Assistant (UBC site): Sara Van Dan Acker

Vantage corpus of student texts across the disciplines (Pilot Project) Current

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – Explore Grant
Principal Investigator
Co-investigators: Alfredo Ferreira (UBC), Laura, Baumvol (UBC)
Collaborators: Simone Sarmento UFRGS)
Graduate Research Assistants: Greta Perris (UBC), Sara Van Dan Acker (UBC), Marine Matte (UFRGS)

Mapping the landscape: Colloquium on language in the Canadian university Completed

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – Connection Grant
Co-Investigator; PI Saskia Van Viegen (Stille) (SFU), Penny Kinnear (UofT), Li-Shih Huang (UVic)
Collaborators: Bruce Russell (UofT), Julia Williams (U Waterloo), Roumi Ilieva (SFU), Tanya Missere-Mihas (U Waterloo)

Graduate Assistant: Dmitri Detwyler (UBC site)

Supporting in-service teachers` implementation of a functional approach to English for academic purposes Completed

UBC Department of Language and Literacy Education – Rits LLED Seed Fund
PI: Steven Talmy; Co-investigator: Meike Wernicke

A critical examination of collaboration between English for academic purposes and subject-area instructors embracing a content and language integrated learning model Completed

Hampton New faculty Awards
Principal Investigator

Examining the effectiveness of content and language tutorials (VANT 140) in supporting international students’ academic English development Completed

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fund (SoTL) – UBC
Principal Investigator
Graduate Research Assistant: John Haggerty (UBC)

Vantage College Program Evaluation Study Current

Principal Investigator
Co-PI: Joanne Fox (UBC), Brian Wilson (UBC)

Graduate Research Assistants: Laura Baumvol (UBC); Dmitri Detwyler (UBC)

Writing in the STEM disciplines: advancing graduate academic literacies Current

Advancing Education Renewal, Office of the Provost and VP, UBC
PI: Patty Kelly
Co-investigaors: Alfredo A. Ferreira, Jodie Martin, Joanne Fox, Jonathan Otto, Jacqui Brinkman
Graduate Assistants: Kwesi Yaro, Angela Rutakomozibwa, Susan Sechrist, Reena Titoria, Greta Perris

Development of online learning modules as an innovative approach to teaching a Vantage College introductory engineering design course with embedded language and technical communication components Current

Small Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund Innovation projects, UBC
PI: Vladan Prodanovic
Co-investigators: Gabriel Potvin, Juan Abello, Saloome Motavas, Sandra Zappa-Hollman, Alys Avalos-Rivera

Cultivating success for English as an additional language students: A library flexible learning partnership Completed

Small Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund Innovation projects, UBC
With Sarah Parker (UBC Library), Amber Shaw (Vantage College),
Collaborators: Simon Neame, Aleteia Greenwood, Anne Olsen, Jennifer Walsh-Marr, Eilidh Singh

A global campus: Tandem language learning at UBC. Completed

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF)
PI: Andrew Scales
Co-investigators: Monique Bournot-Trites
Graduate Research Assistants: Rachel Wang, Robin Ryan

Selected Publications

Van Viegen, S. & Sandra Zappa-Hollman, S. (2020)
Plurilingual pedagogies at the post-secondary level: possibilities for intentional engagement with students’ diverse linguistic repertoires, Language, Culture and Curriculum, 33(2), 172-187. https://doi.org/10.1080/07908318.2019.1686512

Zappa-Hollman, S., & Duff, P. (2019).
Exploring issues in language and content instruction. In G. Barkhuizen (Ed.). Qualitative research topics in language teacher education, pp. 186-191. New York, NY: Routledge.

Ferreira, A. & Zappa-Hollman, S. (2019).

Zappa-Hollman, S., & Duff, P. (2019).
Qualitative approaches to classroom research on English medium instruction. In X. Gao, C. Davison & C. Leung (Eds.). Springer handbook of English language teaching (2nd ed.). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-58542-0_51-1

Van Viegen, S., Wernicke, M., & Zappa-Hollman, S. (2019).

Duff, P., Zappa-Hollman, S., & Surtees, V. (2019).
Research on Language and Literacy Socialization at Canadian Universities. The Canadian Modern Language Review / La revue canadienne des langues vivantes 75(4), 308-318. https://www.muse.jhu.edu/article/744626.

Zappa-Hollman, S. (2019)
Interview: On integrating content and academic English language instruction in a disciplinary program. Revista Organon, 34(66), DOI: https://doi.org/10.22456/2238-8915.96973

Zappa-Hollman, S. (2018).
Collaborations between EAP and disciplinary instructors: Factors and indicators of positive partnerships. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 21 (5), 591-606. doi: 10.1080/13670050.2018.1491946

Bournot-Trites, M., Zappa-Hollman, S. & Spiliotopoulos, V. (2018).
Foreign language teachers’ intercultural competence and legitimacy during an international teaching experience. Study Abroad, Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education, 3 (2), 275-309. doi: 10.1075/sar.16022.bou

Kobayashi, M., Zappa-Hollman, S., & Duff, P. (2017).
Academic discourse socialization. Duff & May (Eds.) Language Socialization Volume: Encyclopedia of Language & Education. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-02255-0_18

Zappa-Hollman, S., & Duff, P. (2017).
Conducting research on content-based language instruction. In M.A. Snow & D. Brinton (Eds.), The content-based classroom: Perspectives on integrating language and content (2nd ed.) Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Zappa-Hollman, S. (2017)
ESP Leader Profile. TESOL English for Specific Purposes blog. http://blog.tesol.org/esp-leader-profile-sandra-zappa-hollman/

Zappa-Hollman, S. (2016)
On supporting academic English development across disciplines. Research report. University of British Columbia. http://isotl.ctlt.ubc.ca/category/showcase-projects/

Zappa-Hollman, S., & Duff, P. (2015).
Academic English socialization through individual networks of practice. TESOL Quarterly, 49(2), 333–368. doi: 10.1002/tesq.188

Duff, P., Ferreira, A., & Zappa-Hollman, S. (2015).
Putting (functional) grammar to work in English for academic purposes instruction. In D. Christison, D. Christian, P. Duff, & N. Spada (Eds.), Research on teaching grammar in English language education (pp. 139–158). New York: Routledge.

Zappa-Hollman, S., Bournot-Trites, M., Wang, R. & Ryan, R. (2014). UBC Tandem Language Learning Handbook. University of British Columbia. Available online: http://www.tandemubc.ca/#!handbook/c18pd

Duff, P. A. & Zappa-Hollman, S. (2013). Critical discourse analysis of popular culture. In C. Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Duff, P. A. & Zappa-Hollman, S. (2013). Pop culture and second language teaching and learning. In C. Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Sellick, A., Bournot-Trites, M., Reeder, K., Scales, A., Smith, M., Zappa-Hollman, S. (2011). Key strengths of an innovative volunteer ESL workshop. Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education, 37 (2), 1-18.

Zappa-Hollman, S. (2007). Academic presentations across post-secondary contexts: The discourse socialization of non-native English speakers. Canadian Modern Language Review 63, (4), 455-485. (Recipient of CMLR Best Graduate Student Paper Award).

Zappa-Hollman, S. (2007). EFL in Argentina’s schools: Teachers’ perspectives on policy changes and instruction. TESOL Quarterly, 41, (3), 618-625.

Nicol, C. Yusyp, M., Zappa, S., Sasges, M., & Moore, J. (2004). Living action research: Authoring identities through YaYa Projects. Educational Action Research, 12, (3), 311-328