Dr Assia Rolls

Head of Learning Teaching and Pedagogic Research

Professional Biography

Assia Rolls has, for many years, researched the relationship between language learning and teaching and what learners get out of the classroom. Her interest in traditional academic classroom-centred research has more recently shifted towards teacher and learner development via the notion of ‘Exploratory Practice', a form of practitioner research involving teachers and learners working together to foster a better understanding of their learning and teaching environment. Her recent work on teachers' systematic analysis of their teaching aims to extend understanding of teacher learning, particularly in the area of engagement with student perspectives on learning. She has written and reported on her work in national and international fora.

Her research interests lie in adult second language acquisition, teacher education and teacher development in higher education. Working in the multicultural environment of Regent's University London, she has also developed an interest in intercultural communication, internationalisation of the curriculum and transnational studies. She is the associate director of Regent's University London Centre for Transnational Studies and general editor of Border Crossing, a transnational working papers series in higher education. Assia has been external examiner and adviser at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in British universities amongst them Goldsmith College, The Open University, Liverpool University, Bristol University, Leicester University and abroad including Macquarie University in Australia.


  • PhD, Applied Linguistics, Lancaster University, Lancaster, 1987
  • M. Ed, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Columbia University, New York, 1979
  • B.A, Language Teaching, Algiers University, 1975

Relevant Past Employment

  • 2008- Head of Learning Teaching and Pedagogic Research, Faculty of Business and Management, Regent's University London, London.
  • 2004-2008 Head of Learning Teaching and Research. EBS London.
  • 2002-2005 Head of Languages for Business at EBS London.
  • 2001-2007 Module Leader for ‘Business in its Linguistics and Cultural Environment', EBS London.
  • 1994-2002 Subject Leader in French for Business.
  • 1992-1993 Lecturer in French for Business at EBS London.
  • 1992 Developer of and Lecturer on a teacher training programme for language teachers. Goldsmith's College. London University.
  • 1991-1992 Lecturer and Academic Advisor to Polylang, a language service provider to Schools and Departments across Westminster University. 
  • 1989-90 Lecturer in French from ab-initio to post A level students. Middlesex University.
  • 1988-89 Head of English for Electronic Engineering, University of Algiers.
  • 1980-83 Senior Lecturer in English, University of Algiers.
  • 1976-77 Teacher of English. Lycée Abane Ramdane, Algiers.
  • 1975-76 Language Assistant of French. Robin Lane Secondary School, 
    St Helens. Liverpool


Book Chapters

  • Slimani-Rolls, A. (2009) ‘Complexity and Idiosyncracy of Classroom Life'.   In Yoshida et al (eds.) Researching Language Teaching and Learning. An Integration of Practice and Theory. Peter Langs. Oxford, pp 55-73.
  • Slimani, A.  (1992). “Evaluation of classroom interaction”. In A. Beretta and J.C Alderson (eds.) Evaluating Second Language Education. Cambridge University Press, pp 197-221.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Slimani-Rolls, A. & R. Kiely (In press) ‘We are the Change we seek: developing a Teachers’ Understanding of Classroom Practice. Innovations in Education and Teaching International. The Journal of the Staff and Educational Development Association. Routledge
  • Slimani-Rolls, A. (2005). “Rethinking Task-Based Language Learning: What We Can learn From the Learners”. Language Teaching Research. 9/2:195-218
  • Slimani-Rolls, A. (2003). ‘Exploring a world of paradoxes: an investigation of group work. 
    Teaching Research. 7/2:221-239.

Refereed Conference Papers

  • Slimani-Rolls, A. (2010) ‘Bringing theory in line with practice in the classroom'. In the proceedings of the Canada International Conference on Education (CICE), Toronto, 26-28 April 2010.
  • Slimani-Rolls, A. (2005). ‘Teachers' Search for a Better Understanding of Their Learning/Teaching Environment: a Case for Exploratory Practice'. In Proceedings of 8th CercleS International Conference: University Language Centres: Broadening Horizons, Expanding Networks. 9-11 Sept 2004. Comenius University, Bratislava. CercleS, pp 315-328.

Working Papers

  • Slimani-Rolls, A. (2005). ‘Towards Understanding Life in the Language Classroom'. EBS London Occasional & Working Paper Series no.2.
  • Slimani-Rolls, A. (2004). “Learners' idiosyncratic reactions to task implementation”. EBS London Occasional & Working Paper Series no.1.

Other Outputs

  • Reviewer for major refereed journals: Language Teaching Research, Applied Linguistics, System, Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice
  • Project Reviewers for HEA Subject Centre: Escalate

External Examiner: Undergraduate Awards

  • 2000-2006, Open University
  • 2002-2006, Liverpool University

Conference Papers Given

  • 2012 'Using EP as theoretical framework for Regent's University London PgCert LTHE.' Special Interest Group (SIG). ‘The Teaching and Research Relationships'.  International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL). 7 July. Leicester University.
  • 2012 ‘Understanding classroom practice through investigating classroom interaction' International Consortium for Educational Development Conference (ICED) 2012 - Across the Globe Higher Education Learning and Teaching” Bangkok, Thailand 23-25 July.
  • 2011 'Understanding as a prerequisite to intelligent decision-making'. Contribution to a workshop and a symposium in the 16th AILA World Congress. Harmony in Diversity: language, culture and society. Aug 23-28, Beijing Foreign Studies University. China.
  • 2011 ‘Collaborative practitioner research as a form of mutual development'.   7th International Conference on language Teacher Education. ‘Expanding Our Horizons'. 19-21 May. University of Minnesota. Radisson University Hotel. Minneapolis, Minnesota. USA.
  • 2010 'Taking action to understand'. 3rd International Conference on Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Research in Action, Research for Action, 26-27 November. Universidad Nova De Lisboa, Portugal.
  • 2010 'Developing a better understanding of classroom practice through elucidation of teaching puzzles'. HEA Annual Conference. Shaping up the Future. 22-23 June. Havilland Campus. University of Hertfordshire. UK.
  • 2007 Keynote speaker. ‘Sustainability of Research in the Classroom'. Presented at the International Conference on English Language Education: Understanding the Language Classroom and New Directions for Language Teaching Research. 15-17 March. Oxford University, St Catherine College and Kobe Institute. Japan.

Research Supervision

  • Involved in supervising MA dissertations on the MA Management Degree with Pathways at Regent's University London.

Grants Awarded

  • £13,000 granted by Regent's University London.

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

  • Fellow of Staff Educational Development Association (FSEDA)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA);
  • Member of the Staff Educational Development Association (SEDA)
  • BMAF- HEA/Business, Management, Accountancy & Finance Subject Centre; 
  • Member of BMAF/Internationalisation Special Interest group (SIG),
  • Member of South East Higher Education Network;
  • Member of the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Assessment Academy;
  • Escalate- HEA/Education Subject Centre;
  • Association of French Language Studies (AFLS) also Member of the Executive Committee in charge of the AFLS Research Inventory (2001-2004);
  • Association of Business Schools (ABS)

Teaching & Course Development


  • Cross cultural business communication at UG and PG levels
  • French for Business at all ability levels
  • Teacher Development in Higher Education (Forthcoming at Regent's University London)

Course Development

  • Currently developing a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education with a focus on teaching international students


  • 2012, Doctoral thesis on “How students seek for realisation through Exploratory Practice: A journey of teaching learning and growing together. The viva takes place in July 2012. Leicester University, UK.
  • 2011, Doctoral thesis entitled “teachers' and learners' beliefs in relation to error and corrective feedback in the context of higher education in Mexico”. Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  • 2008, Doctoral thesis. “Corrective Feedback and Learner Uptake: Focus-Form Instruction in Primary School EFL Classrooms in China”. The Graduate School of Education, Bristol University.