UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Ms Natasha Parker

Lecturer (Teaching) in Russian Language



Joined UCL
27th Sep 2021

Research summary

My research synthesizes findings in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), language pedagogy and psycholinguistics and aims to increase the effectiveness of teaching Russian as a foreign language. I am particularly interested in Working Memory research and examine how language instruction can be made more processable for learners, thus leading to higher accuracy in oral production. My investigations have resulted in developing an innovative teaching approach, which effectively applies the principles of spiralling, as well as those of cognitive processing, to teaching a language, which is structurally different from English. My first teaching experiment was dedicated to teaching Russian pronunciation, Russian stress in particular, and paved the way for my second teaching intervention, which focused on case morphology and produced extremely successful results. My approach underpins my first textbook for learners of Russian, published by Routledge in 2020. The materials have been successfully trialled at the University of Swansea, at the University of Sheffield and at the University of Leeds. 

I regularly present my research at international conferences in the UK, Europe and the USA, including the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) Conference and the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) Conference, where I run the Languages and Linguistics stream. Also, with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding, I have been running a Knowledge Exchange Project (KEP), whose goal is to reduce the gap between language pedagogy research and language teaching in the classroom, as well as supporting the dialogue between Russian teaching practitioners working in different education sectors in the UK.

Teaching summary

My research informs my teaching and my teaching feedsdirectly in to my research.

SERS0024: Russian Level 2 (B)

SERS0068: Intermediate Russian D

SEES0067: Intermediate Russian (MA)


University of Sheffield
Masters, Applied Linguistics and TESOL |
State Examination Board
Diploma of HE, Foreign Language Teaching |


A keen educator and a language practitioner, throughout my career, I have been advancing learning and searching for more effective ways of teaching. With my first degree in Foreign Language Teaching, I held a full-time teaching post at the Tula University (Russia), which I left to set up one of the first non-state non-profit schools implementing more up-to-date teaching; I worked as a Head of School for two years. 

After moving to the UK, I taught Russian for a number of years, developing my new teaching approach and returned to Higher Education in 1916, to scientifically test it during my MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Sheffield, which was supported by the British Philological Society. Extremely successful results of my dissertation enabled me to secure Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Studentship, awarded by the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) for my PhD at the University of Leeds. I am now in my last year, planning to submit in spring 2022. Teaching at SSEES is an exciting new stage in my professional development.