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Online Language Learning Research Network (OLLReN)

About Us

Laureate International Universities and Cambridge University Press are setting up a virtual research institute to support research around the world into online language learning (OLL). 

The Laureate-Cambridge Online Language Learning Research Network – OLLReN – will combine the expertise and experience of both organizations.  Cambridge and Laureate have developed hugely successful cutting-edge online and blended programs for English language.  From their experience, they have identified the need for increased research into this area of education.  There are exciting pockets of research around the world, and OLLReN aims to help bring that research together.

OLLReN aims to support research into areas such as:

  • How mobile devices can be used for language learning
  • Evolving pedagogies for synchronous online language teaching
  • Effective learner and teacher behaviours when studying online
  • How the design of online learning platforms affects teachers’ interventions
  • How to make best use of technological features in learning task design
  • Motivating learners in online environments
  • Impact of online learning on areas of proficiency gain
  • Effective approaches to learning analytics for OLL.
Laureate International Universities Cambridge University Press       

Gordon Lewis

Vice President of Language Programs for Laureate Higher Education

Jorge Brake

Senior Vice President Laureate Network Office

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Director of Language Research and Consultancy

Laura Patsko

Laura Patsko

Senior ELT Research Manager


Gordon Lewis is Vice President of Language Programs for Laureate Higher Education. He earned a B.S. in Languages and Linguistics from Georgetown University, Washington D.C. and an M.S. from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA. Gordon has served on the committee of the IATEFL Young Learners Special Interest Group and served as an editorial board member of ELT Journal. He is co-author of Games for Children and Grammar for Young Learners and author of The Internet and Young Learners, Teenagers, and Making the Most of Technology, all published by Oxford University Press.

Jorge Brake has Mexican and Peruvian citizenships, born in Lima, Peru, son of a Canadian citizen who immigrated to Peru. Studied primary and secondary levels in the British School in Lima and later obtained his undergrad degree in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad de Lima and a MBA Degree in Great Britain. Jorge is Senior Vice President – Laureate Network Office, in Laureate Education Inc., a US Corporation, with headquarters in Baltimore, the leading global provider of superior higher education services and products. The company owns more than 75 Institutions in 30 countries with more than 1M students. Jorge´s responsibilities include Global Category Strategic Planning and Best Practices dissemination.

Ben Knight is Director of Language Research and Consultancy at Cambridge University Press.  His key interest is to develop the way CUP invests in research to improve the effectiveness of its learning materials, curriculum development and teacher support.  He also works closely with Cambridge English Language Assessment to enable the two university departments to offer an integrated service to teachers and organisations around the world involved in educational reform.  

Laura Patsko is Senior ELT Research Manager at CUP, formerly an English teacher and teacher trainer. She holds a BA in Linguistics, MA in ELT & Applied Linguistics, CELTA and Delta. She is particularly interested in teacher education, eBooks, blended learning, pronunciation instruction and English as a lingua franca. She is a committee member of the IATEFL PronSIG and editor of their biannual journal, Speak Out!.




Gary Motteram

Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Manchester, UK

Mark Pegrum

Associate professor in the Faculty of Education at The University of Western Australia

Vicky Saumell

English teacher and teacher trainer

Michael Thomas

Reader and Associate Professor in Digital Education and Learning at the University of Central Lancashire, UK


Info Coming Soon Details coming soon.

Gary Motteram is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Manchester, UK. He set up the first ever Master’s that linked educational technology and TESOL, which was also the first online degree of its type. He has presented at conferences and published regularly in the fields of technology in language learning and technology supported distance teacher education. His latest book is Innovations in learning technologies for ELT, produced for the British Council. He has recently managed a number of international projects for the University of Manchester, including eChinaUK and AVALON (, and he ran a two-year research project for Cambridge University Press exploring what teachers do with technology. His most recent projects include the Euroversity ( network and ReflectED Metacognition (

Mark Pegrum is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at The University of Western Australia, where he specialises in mobile learning and, more broadly, e-learning. His current research focuses on mobile technologies and digital literacies. His recent books include: Brave New Classrooms: Democratic Education and the Internet (co-edited with Joe Lockard; Peter Lang, 2007); From Blogs to Bombs: The Future of Digital Technologies in Education (UWA Publishing, 2009); Digital Literacies (co-authored with Gavin Dudeney & Nicky Hockly; Pearson/Routledge, 2013); and Mobile Learning: Languages, Literacies and Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). He currently teaches in Perth, Hong Kong and Singapore, and has given presentations and run seminars on e-learning and m-learning around the world. Further details can be found on his wiki at

Vicky Saumell is an English teacher and teacher trainer. She holds a degree in Spanish-English Literary and Technical Translation, a Diploma in the Theory and Methodology of TESOL and a degree in Educational Technology. She is particularly interested in the integration of new technologies for language learning. She is currently the author and online tutor of New Learning Environments for the Master’s in ELT at Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia. She is the Overall Coordinator of the EFL department at Instituto San Francisco de Asís, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a freelance materials writer and presenter. She is a committee member of the IATEFL LTSIG and IATEFL PubsCom.

Michael Thomas, Ph.D. is Reader and Associate Professor in Digital Education and Learning at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He’s previously worked at universities in the UK, Germany and Japan and is author or editor of fifteen books, most dealing with the implications of digitally-mediated communication. He is currently completing a four-volume major work for Bloomsbury entitled Digital Language Learning and Teaching. He is lead series editor of Digital Education and Learning (Palgrave) and Advances in Digital Language Learning and Teaching (Bloomsbury). He is coordinator of the EU CAMELOT Project on machinima in language learning and project partner in the VITAL Project on learning analytics. 


Shannon Olson

Curriculum Manager
Laureate Languages


Shannon Olson info coming soon.