Dr. Sandra Zappa-Hollman

Assistant Professor
Director of Academic English Program, Vantage College


I am an applied linguist with a special interest in teaching English for academic purposes (EAP) and researching academic (English) discourse socialization in higher education. 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. And more recently, my research as well as materials design and teaching are informed by Systemic Functional Linguistics (following Halliday’s work on Register).

My published research focuses primarily on the academic discourse socialization of (international) English language learners in higher education, examining the literacy socialization trajectories and the role their individual networks of practice (INoPs, a concept I coined) in becoming aware of the host culture values and expectations. My research agenda also includes projects examining the intercultural competence development of foreign language teachers studying abroad; foreign language-learning through peer exchange programs; academic English coaching for university-level English language learners; collaboration between language and subject specialists; and student perceptions of academic English language development in CBI courses.

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 recently launched first year university program for international students at the University of British Columbia.

Selected Publications

Ferreira, A. & Zappa-Hollman, S. (forthcoming). Disciplinary registers in a first- year program: A view from the context of curriculum. Language, Context and Text. 

Zappa-Hollman, S., & Duff, P. A. (forthcoming). Qualitative Approaches to Classroom Research on English-Medium Instruction. International Handbook of English Language Teaching, (2nd Ed.), Springer.

Bournot-Trites, M., Zappa-Hollman, S. & Spiliotopulos, V. (forthcoming). Foreign language teachers develop intercultural competence and legitimacy through an international teaching experience. Study Abroad, Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education, 3 (1).

Zappa-Hollman, S. (2018). Collaborations between EAP and disciplinary instructors: Factors and indicators of positive partnerships. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Special issue on CLIL in higher education). DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2018.1491946

Kobayashi, M., Zappa-Hollman, S. & Duff, P. A. (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.) Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

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