MPhil. Heather Shay

Lecturer in Sprachpraxis

Room 8019

August-Bebel-Straße 28


Tel.: +49 (0)381 498-2591

Fax: +49 (0)381 498-2594

Office Hours this Semester (teaching weeks)

Contact via email to arrange an online appointment

(Please note that changes to office hours will be announced on the 'Latest News' page, found here: Aktuelles)

Education and Degrees

Education and Degrees

2021 - present
DPhil (Promotion) in American Studies/Social Anthropology/Political Sciences
GRK Deutungsmacht Universität Rostock
Working title: Sacred Land, Indigenous Ecology, and Hermeneutic Conflict: Analysis of legal conflicts over land ownership and use in the Americas from the perspective of interpretive power theory.

Heather Shay - DFG-Graduiertenkolleg Deutungsmacht - Universität Rostock (

2019 – 2020
Cambridge ESOL Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Master-Niveau DELTA Module 3)
Norwich Institute for Language Education, UK
Diagnostic Testing, Needs Analysis, Syllabus and Material Developement. 
Final thesis entitled: Preparing learners for teaching English in the Primary School in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

2015 - 2016        
The Institute of Education at University College London with the Sutton SCITT
PGCE (Spanish, German & French) and Qualified Teacher Status awarded

Cambridge ESOL Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA)                         
ETGS Scholarship from the British Council awarded

2011 – 2013        
The University of Oxford, St. Antony’s College

MPhil in Social Anthropology. Focuses: Europe, Lowland South America, Middle East, Power and the State               
Final thesis entitled: Fuzzy property in rural Catalonia: A historical and anthropological study of agricultural land tenure and food production.

2010 – 2011        
The University of Wales, Trinity Saint David
PGCert in Nature, Dept. of Philosophy and Anthropology
Final thesis entitled: The environment of a Catalonian home: periodicity, place and perceptions.

2006 - 2010         
The University of Chester, Chester
BA (Hons) Spanish with Drama and Theatre Studies
First Class Honours, Valedictorian in Spanish Studies
Final thesis entitled: ¿Hasta qué punto concuerdan el discurso y la ética del culto de María Lionza con los de la Iglesia Católica y los de la mayoría de los venezolanos?

Research interests

Research interests

In a word: eclectic.

I have been enthralled by a plethora of writings from my varied academic studies in the humanities, arts and social sciences.

In terms of geographical scope, I have conducted anthropological fieldwork in both Venezuela and Spain (specifically Catalonia), where my research has been led, in part, by the phenomenon I have encountered during my stays. In Venezuela this was political and religious rhetoric during the presidential term of Hugo Chavez, Toros Coleados and flooding, while in Spain my focus is on rural life and land ownership since the medieval period as well as Catalan nationalism and the separatist project.

Main areas of interest:

  • Second language acquisition, ICT in languages, active learning/engagement, Assessment for Learning, SEN and inclusion, pedagogical grammar, content and language integrated learning
  • Discourse Analysis, Literary Theory, Culture Studies
  • Semiotics, Linguistics (Romance and Germanic Languages, particularly phonetics and phonology, collocations and idioms)
  • Anthrozoology, Kinship, Material Culture, Political and Economic Anthropology (particularly property and ownership, socio-economic transitions, ecological farming)
  • Ethics, Sociology of Religion
Academic memberships and offices

Academic memberships and offices

  • Spanish & German examiner for UK national exams (GCSE & A Level), Pearson & AQA UK exam boards
  • Member of ALL (Association for Language Learning), ATL Branch of NEU education union, ELTABB (English Language Teachers' Association of Berlin-Brandenburg) and the Berlin Language Worker GAS (Grassroots Network), and the Association for Contemporary Iberian Studies
  • Former editor at St. Antony’s International Review (STAIR), Oxford University: a peer-assessed academic journal in the field of International Relations. Published title: ‘Power, the State and the Social Media Network’ (2013, issue 16)
Favourite quotes/verse

Favourite quotes/verse

The hardest thing of all to see is what is really there.

J.A. Baker in The Peregrine