Lada Smirnova

Lada Smirnova


I joined the university in 2021. Before working at Leeds, I worked as a Director of Studies in a private language centre in Moscow, a Senior Academic English Teacher in two Moscow universities, and a Deputy Director of MA in Digital Transformation in Education at HSE University, where I developed the MA programme and launched it. I have also taught EAP in several universities in China, Russia and the UK, and designed modules for a range of BA and MA programmes. I have recently published several articles in the area of language teacher education and development, and a book in collaboration with Peter Lang – an outcome of a 4 year study I conducted with experienced language teachers from two EdTech leading Moscow universities.

Research interests

My current research interests are sustainable teacher development in a transnational context and the impact of AI-powered chatbots on EAP classroom dynamics. My recent and ongoing projects are:

  1. Ethical use of AI chatbots for student academic writing.

  2. The impacts of AI chatbots on student-teacher relationships in ELT.

  3. Using narrative methodology to explore teacher experience in using technology for EAP.

  4. Multilingualism and translanguaging.

I supervise postgraduate work, and if you are interested in conducting PhD research in language teacher education, training, and development, I would be happy to hear from you. To help me better understand your strengths and interests, please attach a 600–800-word proposal and a CV.

Recent Publications


  • Smirnova L. (2021). Exploring perezhivanie: a new tool for teacher development in the digital transformation in education. Peter Lang: Оxford.
  • Smirnova, L. (2019). Integrating technology 
into the university language classroom: a study of complexities and perezhivanie in teachers’ experience. (Unpublished PhD thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education). The University of Manchester.

Edited book

  • Smirnova L. (2022). (Ed.) Using Activity Theory in the Digital Transformation in Education. Uright: Moscow. In Russian.

Book Chapters

  • Smirnova L., Rasskazova T. (2024). The development of a reflective language teacher in Russia: from an apprenticeship to a dialogical partnership. In Cirocki A., Gao A., Wyatt M. (Eds) Developing Reflective ELT Practitioners through Teacher Education: Insights from Asian Contexts. Springer Nature Singapore. pp. 303–323.
  • Smirnova L. (2022). Theorizing the digital change in education. In Smirnova L. (Ed.). Using Activity Theory in the Digital Transformation in Education. Uright: Moscow, pp. 12–32. In Russian.
  • Smirnova L. (2021). Designing individual learning paths in Moodle. In Saphonov A.A., Chastova P.A., Kokaya E.T., Matys O.I. (Eds) Digital education: Methods, Practices, and Tools. A collection of webinars, talks, and research. Uright, Moscow, issue 4, pp. 24–25. In Russian.
  • Smirnova L. (2020). Davydov’s Activity Approach for developing a MA in Digital Transformation in Education. In The School of Davydov: traditions and Innovations. FGBOY VOMGPPU: Moscow. pp. 250–252. In Russian.
  • Smirnova, L. (2016). Language teacher development in integrating technology: mind the gap. 3rd international Conference on ESP/EAP/EMI in the context of Higher Education Internationalization. National University of Science and Technology ‘MISIS’, Russia, November 25, 2016, Proceedings. In Conference proceedings, MISIS. p. 70.

Journal Articles

  • Smirnova, L. (2024). A deeper form of reflection: perezhivanie as a tool for teacher development. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 1–16.
  • Smirnova L. (2023).Teachers’ motives, agency and Vygotsky’s notion of perezhivanie. The European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL. 12 (1), 173–189.
  • Smirnova L. (2020). Two forms of perezhivanie that work: integrating technology into a Russian university language classroom. The European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL. 9 (2), 65–82.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Education, University of Manchester
  • MA in Educational Technology and TESOL, University of Manchester
  • DELTA, University of Cambridge
  • CELTA, University of Cambridge
  • Specialist Diploma in Programming, National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI)

Professional memberships

  • Mind, Culture and Activity (xMCA) group
  • BAAL

Research groups and institutes

  • Language Centre
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>