Language-Related Programs Research Profile

Short Profile

Hellenic American University offers a wide range of language-related programs as part of the Arts and Sciences department:

Research Profile

The faculty involved in teaching and research in language-related programs are active members of key professional associations and international communities for linguists, language educators, language assessment specialists, translators, and literary experts. Research output reflects faculty specializations and expertise in language teaching, language assessment, discourse analysis, pragmatics, intercultural communication, and translation of literature. Current research projects focus on:

  • Interdisciplinary nature of language-related issues in other domains e.g. business
  • Discourse in European politics
  • Translation, Discourse and Ideology in literature
  • Translation and new writing genres in literature
  • Evaluation of best practices in TESOL
  • Development of a new EFL test for Young Learners
  • Effective communication for tutoring writing
  • Evaluation of e-learning courses in Applied Linguistics TESOL

Research Team

Dr. Juliane House
Juliane House received her first degree in English and Spanish translation and international law from Heidelberg University, Germany, her B Ed, MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Toronto, Canada and honorary doctorates from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and the University Jaume I, Castellon, Spain. She is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at Hamburg University and a founding member of the German Science Foundation’s Research Centre on Multilingualism, where she was Principal Investigator of several projects on translation and multilingual business communication. She also directed a project on multilingualism and multiculturalism in German universities funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, and she is currently serving as the President of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS). At present, she is Director of the PhD program in Applied Linguistics at Hellenic American University in its Athens campus.

Research Interests: contrastive pragmatics, discourse analysis, politeness theory, English as lingua franca, intercultural communication and translation.

Dr. Alexander Nikolaou
Alexander Nikolaou received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Birmingham, UK on a partial scholarship. He also holds an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the same university and a B.A. in English Literature from the American College of Greece. For the past 10 years he has taught graduate and undergraduate linguistics courses and has served as a Coordinator of the MAAL program, Chair of the Curriculum Committee and Director of General Education at Hellenic American University. He has worked for many years as an EAP/ESP teacher at various private tertiary institutions and has also taught general English language courses both in Greece and the UK. He has also been involved in developing ELT materials and conducting teacher training seminars in Greece and abroad. Alexander is also a certified oral examiner for the Michigan ECCE, ECPE, Cambridge ESOL, Edexcel and KPG exams. He has presented papers at successive TESOL and Applied Linguistics conferences. He teaches courses in Language Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics, English Grammar and Sociolinguistics.

Research Interests: L2 Motivation, English as a Lingua Franca, Linguistic Landscapes, Discursive Construction of Identity.

Dr. Christine Irvine-Niakaris
Christine Irvine-Niakaris has an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, University of Reading, UK and a Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.) in TESOL Applied Linguistics from the University of Bristol, UK. She has more than thirty years’ experience in teaching and teacher training in Greece, the UK and at the British Council, Bahrain, and has taught graduate courses as a visiting professor at Saint Michael's College, Vermont, US. Dr. Irvine-Niakaris has also written several EFL textbooks and given presentations regularly at international conferences in Europe and the US. She is currently Director of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Applied Linguistics TESOL at Hellenic American University, in Athens Greece and in Nashua, NH, US.

Research Interests: Teacher Cognition Studies in Language Education, Literacy Studies, Competency-based approaches to professional development for English Language Teachers, Impact of testing on teaching and learning.

Dr. Themis Kaniklidou
Themis Kaniklidou is a translatologist and assistant professor in Translation Studies at Hellenic American University. She completed her PhD in Translation Studies at the University of Athens where she wrote her Thesis on Narrative Theory and News Translation. She has professional experience in translation working with Greek- English and French. She also holds an MA in Specialized Translation from the University of Surrey (2004) and a BA in translation (2002) from the Ionian University of Foreign Languages – Department of Translation and Interpreting. She has worked in the Greek translation industry as an in-house and freelance translator and has translated numerous documents (EU, technical, business, legal). Since 2008, she has been working as an interpreter in conferences with English and Greek as working languages. Themis has been involved in various projects that link the academia with the translation industry and EU institutions. These include OPTIMALE, an EU-funded program on Optimizing Professional Translator Training in a Multilingual Europe while she is leading the terminological project carried out in cooperation with TERMCOORD, the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. Since 2008, Themis has been teaching a number of courses at both graduate and undergraduate levels such as Introduction to Translation Studies, Computer-Assisted Translation, and Introduction to Terminology, Technical Translation, EU Translation, Language Discourse and Translation. She has supervised MA dissertations and has been mentoring graduate and PhD students.

Research Interests: Branding Greece in Translation, Framing Strategies in English and Greek Press, Narrating the Greek Crisis through media: a discourse perspective on the public narrative of Greece, Discourse and Ideology in Children’s Literature, Evaluating collocation adequacy in Greek Translated Press.

Dr. Vassilis Manoussakis
Vassilis Manoussakis is a writer, translator and Adjunct Faculty in Literature, Translation Studies, Literary translation and Audiovisual translation at Hellenic American University. He holds a Ph.D. in American Poetry from the University of Athens (Thesis title: “The multiple facades of a mythic figure: The poetry of Sylvia Plath”, 2004) and an M.A. in 20th century literature and film studies from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England (1995). He has published three collections of poetry and one short story collection. Translations, essays and poems of his have appeared in literary magazines in Greece and the USA. He has organized poetry workshops, symposia and conferences and served on the editorial board of (.poema.), an e-magazine for poetry, and as editor for Modern Greek Poetry for the Literary Encyclopaedia. He curated the Planodion magazine issue on Flash Fiction and the Drunken Boat issue on Contemporary Greek Poets. Most recently, he became a member of the editorial board of Philadelphus (, an e-zine for translation, which was a joint initiative of members of staff of the Hellenic American University and Hellenic American Union. Since February 2015, he is also a member of the Poets' Circle, an acknowledged initiative for Greek poets. He has vast experience as a literary translator, proofreader and subtitler. He has translated more than 20 books of literature and has worked on more than 1,000 films. Since 2013, Vassilis has been teaching a number of courses at both graduate and undergraduate level in both literature and translation.

Research Interests: Translating the Short Story (American and British flash fiction), The Strategies of Audiovisual Translation, a guide for subtitlers, Contemporary Poetic Narratives, Reading Translations of Poetry, an identification of strategies and theoretical views.

Dr. Vassiliki Kourbani
Vassiliki Kourbani received her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the Hellenic American University. She also holds an M.A. in Theoretical Linguistics from the University of Chicago, an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois and a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Athens. She taught linguistics and composition courses at the American College of Greece from 1991 to 2003. She is co-author of a handbook for teachers of Greek as a Foreign Language and has been involved in research in areas such as online foreign language testing and the development of an online platform for the teaching of Greek as a foreign language. At Hellenic American University, she currently serves as Director of the Writing Center, the Writing Program and the English Language and Literature Program (BAELL). Since 2008, Vassiliki has been teaching a number of courses at both graduate and undergraduate levels such as Introduction to Applied Linguistics, Understanding Research in Applied Linguistics, Introduction to Methodology, Language and Mind. She has supervised undergraduate Capstone Projects, MA dissertations and has been mentoring undergraduate and graduate students.

Research Interests: Narrative analysis in Writing Center theory and practice, Asynchronous/synchronous online feedback, Literacy practices and intercultural communication.

Dr. Dimitris Tolias
Dimitris Tolias has been involved in education and in management for more than 22 years. He holds a BA with dual major in English and Greek Language and Literature from the University of Athens, Greece, an MA in Applied Linguistics and TEFL from the University of Exeter in the UK, and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics (his thesis discusses the design and delivery of eLearning educational programs) from Hellenic American University, USA. He has taught academic and research writing at the University of Athens and at the American College of Greece – Deree College. He teaches academic writing and communication, and Second Language Acquisition in the MAAL program of HAUniv. He has also designed and currently teaches a course on critical thinking in the Gen Ed program of HAUniv. Since 2011, Dimitris Tolias is a certified and trained reviewer of CEA, a federal organization responsible for the accreditation of educational institutions (schools, colleges and universities) in the US and in the rest of the world. Dimitris has designed the Writing Center at Hellenic American University, a learning environment which implements collaborative learning principles and state-of-the-art educational technology in the teaching of writing. Dimitris currently serves as Director of eLearning at Hellenic American University.

Research Interests: eLearning, digital technologies, virtual learning environments, intercultural communication.

Mr. Nigel Downey
Nigel Downey is currently the Director of the Office for Language Assessment (OLA) at the Hellenic American University. He holds an MA in TESOL from St. Michaels College, Vermont, USA, holds the RSA Diploma (now called DELTA), and is researching for his PhD in Applied Linguistics, specializing in language assessment. He has been in the TESOL profession in Greece for over twenty-five years as a teacher and teacher trainer, and has taught on MA courses in the US and Greece. Since 2004, he has also been working in the field of language assessment at the Hellenic American University. Nigel has written and collaborated on a number of books and articles in language teaching and testing, and has served on the Board of TESOL Greece as Secretary General and Treasurer, and the Board of the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) as Treasurer. He has taught courses for the MA in Applied Linguistics at the Hellenic American University on Listening and Speaking, Methodology and Language Assessment.

Research Interests: investigating factors which may affect difficulty in second language listening comprehension, the impact of task types in assessment, the impact of syntactic and discourse complexity in listening comprehension standard setting procedures for high-stakes testing; and the application of CEFR descriptors to standardized testing.

Current Research Projects

  • Individual antecedents and moderating effects of professional identity: How does English as a lingua franca impact on individual absorptive capacity? This is an interdisciplinary project involving faculty from Business Administration and Applied Linguistics. It investigates the moderating effects of personal identity of employees working in organisations where English is used as a lingua franca.
  • Discourse and Ideology in Translated Children’s literature: this project investigates the role of translation in the socialization of children and uncovers the different social meanings enacted by translation.
  • Self-study for the Board of Higher Education of the State of New Hampshire to approve English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) professional educator preparation program offered by the Hellenic American University in the US.
  • Development of new EFL test for Young Learners. This project involves development of test items, piloting of items and standard setting.
  • Evaluation of the design and methodology of hybrid eLearning courses to accommodate the needs of students from multiple locations and time zones studying in the Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics TESOL program. The project involves the development of a framework/concept primarily through Blackboard and other selected Web 2.0 tools which will allow our faculty to “merge” two groups of students into the same “class” with one group attending conventionally and the other via eLearning.
  • The Representation of Europe in UK Election Manifestos: this study investigates how the European Union is represented in the election manifesto of the traditionally three major UK parties from 1992 to 2015. The corpus was analyzed using Corpus-Assisted -Discourse Studies (CADS).
  • Translating the Short Story (American and British flash fiction): research focuses on the norms and strategies developed by the translators of this fairly new writing genre, flash fiction, and how these translators render the brevity and condensation of meaning of those stories in such a way that they create an echo for the reader.
  • What are the differences? Tutor Interactions with Native/Non-Native Speaking Tutees: this study examines critical moments (Fairclough, 2001) of the interaction between tutors and tutees of the Hellenic American University Writing Center. It focuses on ways tutors and native/non-native speaking tutees co-construct their roles within the multimodal WRC tutorial as a literacy event (Balester et al., 2012; Ritter, 2002; Barton & Hamilton, 2000).
  • Being between and betwixt. Discursive constructions of ‘authentic’ and ‘hybrid’ identities of Greekness in the narratives of ‘return’ migration. This study explores the narrative construction of identity in interviews given by 11 second generation biethnic Greeks, (in their majority Greek Americans) who relocated to their parents’ homeland as adults within a decade prior to the interviews. Through the analysis of stories of linguistic and cultural assimilation, conflict and transition, alignment ad misalignment, authenticity and hybridity we consider how returnees position themselves not only in relation to “plain” Americans and “pure” Greeks, but also in relation to other migrants in Greece (e.g. Albanians, Cypriots, and Pontians) and Greek Americans who have not “returned”.

Indicative Publications and Presentations

House, J. (2016). Translation as Communication across Languages and Cultures. Oxford: Routledge.

Nikolaou, A. (2016). Mapping the linguistic landscape of Athens: The case of shop signs. International Journal of Multilingualism. doi: 

House, J. (2015). Translation Quality Assessment: Past and Present. Oxford: Routledge.

House, J. (2015). Own-Language use in academic discourse in ELF. In: K. Murata (Ed) Exploring ELF in Japanese Academic and Business Contexts, London: Routledge, 59-70.

House, J. (2015). (Im) politeness in Learning and Teaching: An Epilogue. Teaching and Learning (Im) politeness. In: B. Pizziconi & M. Locher (Eds.), Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, 247-255.

House, J. (2015). Global English, Discourse and Translation: Linking constructions across languages Target, Special Issue on Discourse and Translation. 27 (3). 370-387.

Irvine-Niakaris, C., & Kiely, R. (2015). Reading comprehension in test preparation classes: An analysis of teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge in TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 49 (2), 221- 446.

Irvine-Niakaris, C. (2015). Literacy and reading comprehension in a multicultural classroom. Presentation at the 10th Annual Conference on Learning Differences & Innovation Summit, May American Community Schools, Athens Greece.

Irvine-Niakaris, C., & Kiely, R. (2015). Re-visiting the pre-, while-, and post-reading framework for teaching L2 reading. In T. Pattison (Ed), IATEFL Harrogate Conference Selections. Paper presented at the 48th IATEFL conference, Harrogate, UK, April 2014.

Kaniklidou Themis and Juliane House (forthcoming). Discourse and Ideology in Translated Children’s Literature. A Comparative Study. Special issue of Perspectives on discourse analysis, TARGET.

Kaniklidou Themis (forthcoming). Health Narratives in the Greek Translated Press. Brazilian Journalism Research. (special issue on Contemporary Journalistic Narratives).

Kaniklidou Themis and Juliane House (2015). Discourse and ideology in the translation of English children’s books. 5th IATIS Conference, July 7th-10th 2015.

Nikolaou A. and Sclafani J. (2015). Representations of self and other in narratives of return migration. Paper Presented at the 14th International Pragmatics Conference on Language and Adaptability. Antwerp, Belgium.

Sclafani J. and Nikolaou A. (2015). Polycentric Positioning and transnational identity construction in narratives of “return” migration. Paper Presented at the 14th International Pragmatics Conference on Language and Adaptability. Antwerp, Belgium.

Sclafani J. and Nikolaou A. (2015). Polycentric Positioning and Translational Identity Construction. Paper Presented at Georgetown Round Table on Diversity and Super Diversity: Sociocultural Linguistic Perspectives. Georgetown University. Washington, D.C.

Tolias, D. (2015) MLearning: Designing for the Mobile Interface, Aiming for Interaction and Engagement. Paper/Presentation in VocTEL Enhanced Learning Conference organized by the European Commission, Athens, Greece.

Kourbani, V. (2015). Writing Center (WC) synchronous online feedback: Discovering ways tutors and tutees co-construct their roles within multimodal (WC) tutorial sessions.

House, J. (2014). English as a Lingua Franca: A Threat to Multilingualism and Translation? Language Teaching, 47(3). 363-376.

House, J. (2014). Managing Academic Discourse in English as a Lingua Franca. Special Issue: Pragmatic and Discourse Analytic Approaches to English. Functions of Language, 21(1). 50-66.

House, J. (2014). Translation as a Site of Language Contact: Variation and Change. Translationswissenschaftliches Kolloquium III. Frankfurt, Lang, 155-180.

House, J. (2014). Framing Austerity in Greek translated press headlines: the case of I Kathimerini mTm, 80-104. (with T. Kaniklidou).

House, J. (2014). Towards a new linguistic-cognitive orientation in translation studies. In: M. Ehrensberger-Dow et al. (Eds.) Interdisciplinary in Translation and Interpreting Research. Amsterdam, Benjamins. 49-63.

Irvine-Niakaris, C., & Kiely, R. (2014). Reading comprehension in test preparation classes: An analysis of teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge in TESOL. TESOL Quarterly. Advance online publication. doi:10.1002/tesq.189

Irvine-Niakaris, C., & Zimianitou, J. (2014). Integrating modern technology in the traditional framework for teaching L2 reading. Presentation at the 35th Annual TESOL Greece Convention, March 17- 18, 2013, Athens, Greece.

Irvine-Niakaris, C., & Kiely, R. (2014). Re-visiting the pre-, while-, and post-reading framework for teaching L2 reading. Paper presented at the 48th Annual International IATEFL Conference, April 2 -5, 2014, Harrogate, UK.

Kaniklidou, Themis (2014), Σπάσε τη συνήθεια να είσαι ο εαυτός σου - Translation in Greek from the original: Breaking the habit of being yourself by Dr. J. Dispenza, LINK Publications.

Kaniklidou Themis (2014). Narratives of the Greek debt crisis in Greek press headlines” CADAAD 5th International Conference ELTE, Budapest – 1-3 September, 2014.

Kaniklidou Themis (2014). Discourse and ideology in the translation of English children’s books into German and Greek Discourse. Translation and Ideology, Leeds round table, April 24-26th 2014.

Kaniklidou, Themis (2014). Culture Perspectives in the Translation Class. Annual Event of the Hellenic American Educational Foundation conducted jointly with TESOL, February 16th 2014.

Kourbani, V., Childers, P., Childers, M., & Bareuther, J. (2014). Non-native speakers respond to writing: Some unique studies and personal responses through online and visual perspectives. Presentation at the EWCA Conference: 19-22 July, 2014, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany.

Nikolaou A, and Sclafani J. (2014). A narrative analysis of return migration, heritage language identities, and translational Community in the Greek Diaspora. Paper Presented at the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference. Portland, Oregon.

Downey, N. & Kollias, C. 2010. Mapping the Advanced Level Certificate in English (ALCE) examination onto the CEFR. Aligning Tests with the CEFR, Reflections on using the Council of Europe’s draft Manual, Martyniuk, W. (Ed). Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 119-129.

Log in