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The University of Southampton
Academic Centre for International StudentsPart of Humanities
(023) 8059 8335

Ms Vanessa Mar-Molinero BA, MA

Senior Teaching Fellow

Ms Vanessa Mar-Molinero's photo

I am a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Academic Centre for International Students, part of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of University of Southampton and Co-director of SotonSmartSkills.

I specialise in Learner Autonomy and innovation in digital literacies for education. I am particularly interested in the interaction between cultural theories and the advancement of learner autonomy pedagogy, having studied an MA in Transnational Studies and worked researching and publishing in this area.

Curricular lead eLearning for ACIS. In recent years I have co-founded and co-directed the SotonSmartSkills hub ( with Chris Lewis which includes a wide range of blended learning modules for home and international students enhancing their digital literacies for education, academic skills, and independent learning, and facilitates the transition to Higher Education in the U.K. As part of the hub, I also coordinate the Language and Academic English Advising Service.

I created and developed our unique model for Independent Learning for the Pre-sessional and in-sessional EAP courses, including its organisational, curricular, and assessment design.

Research interests

Research interests

Digital literacies and Learner Autonomy in H.E, British cultural studies.


Research Awards and Projects

Project to enhance English Language learning across the HEI sector in Mexico. The £50k grant was awarded by the British Council in Mexico in collaboration with the University of Guadalajara to develop an innovative Independent Learning framework to support language students in Mexican Higher Education.


Invited keynotes and plenaries

  •  “Understanding, Enhancing, Developing and Scaffolding Learner Autonomy and Digital Literacies for Independent Language Learning: A case study of a Higher Education collaborative project between the University of Southampton (UK) and the Universidad de Guadalajara”. ‘Guest of Honour’ delegation of British academics participating in the Academic Programme of the 2015 Feria del Libro (FIL) in Guadalajara, Mexico. Distance Education Section.
  • “SmartSkills: Scaffolding the transition to learner autonomy in a UK university” at El Foro Internacional de Especialistas en Enseñanza de Lenguas, Manzanillo (University of Colima), 2014.


Affiliations to University of Southampton research group(s):

Modern Languages eLearning Group

Research and Assessment Practices Group (RAP)

Student Response Systems SIG

iPad (and Alternative Devices) Coffee Clubs

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Research project contributions

2005-2006:  Research Assistant: Cuban Oral History: Memories of the Cuban Revolution

This is the first large oral history project authorized by the Cuban government since a similar study led by Oscar Lewis was closed in 1970.

Project Director: Prof Elizabeth Dore and carried out under the auspices of the University of Southampton, and the Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual (CENESEX) in Cuba (Director is Mariela Castro Espín). The research project was principally funded by The Ford Foundation and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), The BA, AHRC, Leverhulme Trust, and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, among others.

2008-2010: Researcher for the LINEE: Languages in a Network of European Excellence                                                             

A 4-year programme funded by the European Commission under the 6th Framework (2006-10) and involving collaboration on a wide range of language-related research projects with colleagues at 8 partner universities across Europe (in Belgium, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic). Individual projects were clustered in 4 themes: Language, Identity and Culture; Language Policy and Planning; Multilingualism and Education; and Language and Economy.

Final report publication: Challenges of Multilingualism in Europe, Core findings of the LINEE Network of Excellence, (2010). LINEE


Publications and Conference proceedings

  • Vigers, D, Mar-Molinero, V, Paffey, D & Mar-Molinero, C,. (2009). Challenges for Official Language Policies: linguistic patterns of recent temporary, circular and transnational migration. Conference proceedings: CRONEM Conference 2009
Diasporas, Migration and Identities: Crossing Boundaries, New Directions
11-12 June 2009, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
  • Mar-Molinero, V. (2010). ‘Family and Transmission: Collective Memory in Identification Practices of Madeirans on Jersey’ Portuguese Studies, 26, 1: 94-111
  • Mar-Molinero,. V., Lewis, C., & Cigliana, K,. (2015).  “‘Protonomy’; Scaffolding the start of a transition to learner autonomy by encouraging Independent Learning and pro-active autonomy.”, in Vigentini, L., & Evans, C,. (eds) The Relevance of Styles to Educational and Workplace contexts. ELSIN XX Proceedings of the XX International Conference of the Educational, Learning, Styles, individual differences Network, Tribun, EU, 122-125
  • Mar-Molinero, V., & Lewis, C. (2016). Developing “SotonSmartSkills”: A reflection on scaffolded independent learning programmes. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 7(2), 209-219.


Undergraduate teaching

I coordinate modules on British Cultural Studies: Introduction to British Life and Institutions and British Identity and Nationhood. I am the curricular lead for Independent Learning at the University of Southampton’s Academic Centre for International Students and have created a wide variety of academic skills modules and Independent Learning, blended learning modules for international and home students that come under the umbrella of SotonSmartSkills. I contribute to modules and dissertation supervision on the MA Applied Linguistics programme, as well as undergraduate modules such as the cross-University ‘Intercultural Communication in a Global World’.


Current Postgraduate PhD Supervision

Xingyang Lu, (co-supervisor with Prof. V Wright) The development of language learner autonomy in different communities of practice: exploring the institutional and social experiences of Chinese students in a UK university

Lizette Drusila Flores Delgado (2nd supervisor with Prof. V Wright) 

Ms Vanessa Mar-Molinero
Room 2142, Building 65, Avenue Campus
University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Tel: 02380 598335

Room Number: 65/2095

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