Alla Nedashkivska named Chair of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies Department

The professor of Slavic Applied Linguistics began her new appointment on July 1, 2020.

Erik Einsiedel - 21 July 2020

A professor in the department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies (MLCS) since 1999, Alla Nedashkivska has been appointed Chair of MLCS. For the past year, Nedashkivska has been serving as Associate Chair, Undergraduate. Previously, from 2013-2019, she was Acting Director of the Ukrainian Language Education Centre at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.

Originally from L’viv, Ukraine, Nedashkivska holds degrees from the Ivan Franko National University of L’viv and the University of Pittsburgh. “Teaching is my true passion,” she says, having taught courses in Slavic linguistics, Applied linguistics, both Ukrainian and Russian languages at all levels, as well as having led the MLCS Study Abroad program in Ukraine since 2000.

Nedashkivska’s fascination with languages began during her early years in secondary school where in addition to her first and native language Ukrainian, she learned Russian, and had the unique opportunity of studying French. By the time she got to university, she was keen on augmenting her language repertoire.

“For some mysterious reason, I thought it would be so cool to learn 11 Slavic languages, although there are more than that,” she recalls. “While at the University in L’viv, I did learn Czech, Slovak and Polish, and even a bit of Upper Sorbian. I also took Latin and continued with French.”

While studying at the University of Pittsburgh, Nedashkivska focused her linguistic studies on her native Ukrainian, which would eventually become her main area of research. She studied Ukrainian from the perspectives of gender linguistics, and political and media language. Currently, her research explores language ideologies in Ukraine, particularly in a time of war and political unrest in the country. She has also published extensively in areas of language pedagogy and second language acquisition in Ukrainian.

Her work has earned her numerous accolades including the Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Teaching Award (2008), the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) Book Prize for “Best Contribution to Language Pedagogy” (2012), the Inaugural University of Alberta Open Educational Resource Award (2018), the Hetman Award for Leadership from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Alberta Provincial Council ( 2018), and the AATSEEL Award for Excellence in Post-Secondary Teaching (2019).

In her spare time, Nedashkivska enjoys experimenting with cooking, as well as camping in a tent, downhill skiing, and, thanks to the pandemic, biking, playing tennis and spending more time with her family.

“My two daughters speak Ukrainian, English and French fluently, and want to learn more languages. A bit of my influence, I guess!”