Our staff

We are a diverse and multi-lingual team from all over the world, coming together to provide the best teaching and support services for you.

Explore our profiles and visit the staff directory to connect with individual members of the LEAP team:

LEAP Programme Coordination

Dr Orieb Masadeh-Tate

Orieb is the Director of the University Language Centre’s LEAP programmes which involve the organisation and delivery of the courses in 13 different languages – ranging from Arabic to Urdu. Orieb is a recipient of the University Exceptional Performance Award in recognition of her contribution, work and commitment to the University.

LEAP Teaching Staff

Ikram Alchane

Ikram teaches Arabic on the University’s institution-wide language courses. Originally from Morocco, Ikram holds a degree in Hebrew & Jewish Studies and a master's degree in Language Education as well as a PGCE in MFL. She has a particular interest in Semitic languages and Arabic poetry. Outside work, her interests include travelling, cooking and amateur photography.

Please note that Ikram is currently on maternity leave and she is not due to return until June 2023.

Yosra Agil

Yosra is a Language Tutor in Arabic.

Dr Ablimit Baki Elterish

Dr Ablimit is a Senior Language Tutor in Chinese.

Susan Tamin

Susan is a Language Tutor in Chinese.

Dr Catherine Franc

Dr Catherine is a Senior Lecturer in French.

Annie Morton

Annie graduated with a BA. Hons in French and Drama before completing an MA in Translation with French at the University of Salford. She decided she liked people more than dictionaries and moved into teaching following a PCCE in Tertiary Education. One of her first jobs was here at the University, and twenty (or so) years later – she is still here, teaching French language at all levels. Alongside her colleague and fellow Senior Language Tutor, Dr Catherine Franc, she convenes core language modules in the Department of French studies and coordinates LEAP French units. 

Wayne McConnell

Wayne McConnell started studying Brutish Sign Language in 1998 whilst completing his Counselling qualifications to offer counselling to the deaf community.

Wayne has delivered specialist courses to schools and adult education since 2008. Specialised training to AGE UK and local hospitals to help professionals communicate with BSL users.


Elizabeth Lopez

With studies in Languages, Literature and Foreign Civilisations (Masters Degree), Elizabeth started teaching for the Language Centre in 2001 and was nominated in the 2013 Manchester Teaching Award organised by the Students’ Union for Best Humanities Lecturer. She is a Language Tutor in French and has taught and developed French Business Courses and French General Courses.

Dr Amani Lowey

Amani has been teaching French at the University’s language centre for 9 years. A French National, she holds a PGCE in Modern Languages from the University of Bristol, an MA in Anglophone Studies from Bordeaux Michel-de-Montaigne University, an MSc in Translation & Intercultural Studies from UMIST and a PhD in Humanities from The University of Manchester.

Previous to her current teaching responsibilities with LEAP, Amani taught French and English in various settings in France and the UK, from private boarding schools to grammar schools, tertiary colleges and inner city comprehensive schools, and is committed to raising the profile of language learning by intervening in local schools. As a researcher, she is particularly interested in the role of citizen media in conflict situations. 

Gaëlle Flower

Originally from Nantes, Gaëlle holds a Licence (B.A.) in English from the University of Poitiers, a master’s in Teaching French as a Foreign Language from the University of Grenoble, and gained her Qualified Teacher Status from the Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research in London. Gaëlle has experience in the Secondary and Further Education sectors in Canada, Hungary and England.

Her interests lie in teaching specialised French (business, tourism and medical) and enhancing the employability of French-speaking students. She is also interested in translation, having worked on various projects funded by the European Union, including the translation of a book for a visual arts organisation Fabrica, based in Brighton.  

Dorit Fellner-Whitgreave

Dorit has been teaching German on the institution-wide course programme since 2009 and on the degree programme since 2020. She is the Goethe Exam Officer and director of the Goethe Exam Centre Manchester. She has a Master's degree in German, English and Scandinavian philology from the University of Vienna and used to teach at schools both in Austria and England. She has a particular interest in communicative teaching, including games to enhance learning. Outside work her interests include dogs and dog-sledding, music, motorbikes, and keeping fit.

Birgit Winnington

Birgit is from Bielefeld and teaches German at the University Language Centre. She teaches in industry and colleges and has taught at the European Commission in Brussels. Birgit has also presented the language and culture at the British German Chamber of Commerce. Her motto: 'Learning a language should be fun! An understanding of language and culture is a real advantage in the business world.'

Dr Sandra Strigel

Sandra has an interdisciplinary background in German and English as a foreign language teaching. She has a master’s degree from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and holds a Doctorate in Education from Newcastle University. She completed her teacher training in Germany and has taught in the secondary school and FE sector, on international HE foundation programmes, and at under-and postgraduate levels at different universities in the UK. She has a particular interest in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and has been involved in research projects on digital materials creation and Global Citizenship Education.


Sigal Altman

Sigal is a Language Tutor in Hebrew.

Nozomi Yamaguchi

Nozomi is a Senior Language Tutor in Japanese.

Chikako Haworth

Chikako teaches on the University's institution-wide language courses in Japanese. She holds a degree in Education and her specialised subject is Japanese. She has a wide range of experience in teaching: from primary school pupils to adults. She is creative in adapting the delivery method in her courses to suit the individuals studying that course. 

Motoi Kitamura

Motoi has both his undergraduate and master's degree's from the University of Niigata, Japan and a PGCE from the University of Central Lancashire. He prides himself in using as little English as possible in his lessons and always being rated well on his teaching in the end of year students' questionnaire! Outside of work he loves trees, wildlife and skiing.

Mikiko Inoue

Mikiko is a Language Tutor in Japanese.

Dr Mozhgan Samadi

Dr Samadi is a Language Tutor in Persian with a PhD degree in Russian Studies. Originally from Iran, she has a particular interest in Persian language and literature. Mozhgan has translated more than 20 works into Persian.

Justyna Drobnik-Rogers

Justyna has been with the Language Centre since 2006 where she is a Language Tutor in Polish. She holds a degree in Polish Language and Literature (Poznań) and a PhD in Polish and Drama Studies (Manchester). Outside teaching, she has recently worked on some theatre-related translations. In her spare time she loves walking and cooking plant-based food. 

Dr Elena Simms

Elena is a Russian language tutor and teaches on the University-wide Language Programme and Russian Studies courses. She has a PhD degree in Methodology of Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language from the Pushkin Russian Language Institute in Moscow.

Dr Sandra Torres

Sandra is a senior language tutor and coordinator in Spanish. Sandra holds a degree in Philology and Languages, an MA in Applied Linguistics in TEFL, an MA in Translation Studies, a PhD in Language Education and a PGCert in HE from The University of Manchester. Her interests lie in the use of technology in language teaching and autonomous learning. She enjoys foreign films and playing tennis.

Dr Ana Niño

Ana is Senior Language Tutor for Spanish at the Institution Wide Language Programme where she teaches general Spanish, Medical Spanish and translation. Ana did her BA and MA (Specialized Translation) at the University of Valladolid, Spain. She holds an MSc in Machine Translation from UMIST and at the University of Manchester she completed a PhD on the connection between translation,  Machine Translation, Computer Aided Translation, Computer Assisted Language Learning and language teaching/learning.

Ana researches and publishes in the fields of technology-enhanced language learning, innovative use of educational tools and the integration of technology for blended/distance learning. Ana was nominated Most Inspiring Lecturer at the STAR Manchester Student Union Teaching Awards 2017. In her spare time she enjoys sketching, painting and trekking.

Mayte Alvarez-Madrigal

Mayte teaches on the University's institution-wide language courses in Spanish and she has taught in the Centre since 2001. Her work and studies over the years have concentrated on developing her love for teaching Spanish, in the classroom and online or computer aided language learning. The dissertation she wrote for her M.Ed., titled “Exploring the integration of virtual and face to face learning in Higher education “, helped me to introduce it in her classes, and since then she has been in close collaboration with other tutors and course managers to improve the courses in an effect to help a more diverse group of students.

Through her work, studies and research she wrote ”On Course Spanish”(with Sandra Truscott and John Morley as editors). She enjoys the challenge of creating accessible material for the different needs related vocabulary, such as Spanish for specific purposes or Spanish for the different students´ needs (British Airways, Engineering, Business and Medical students, among others).

She has worked in many institutions including:

  • Salford University (International Training Centre, preparing students for Spanish for specific purposes and DELE diploma);
  • Central College in Manchester (preparing students for GCSE and A´level);
  • ”Agrupación de Lengua y cultura Españolas” (Teaching children and adults to prepare them for the DELE exams);
  • The University of Manchester (Teaching Spanish at all levels for the LEAP department and teaching on the European Studies Course for the Medical school.)

Mercè Enjuanes

Mercè teaches on the University’s institution-wide language courses in Spanish. Originally from Barcelona, Mercè holds a degree in Politics and Contemporary History, a Masters degree in International Business and another Masters in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. She has a particular interest in languages and cultures and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Tuğgen Šmajer

Tuğgen teaches on the University’s institution-wide language courses in Turkish. Originally from Turkey, Tuğgen holds a joint degree in English Language and Literature and English Language Teaching. She has a particular interest in translation and interpreting studies and is an avid linguist who enjoys lengthy discussions around grammar rules in a variety of languages immensely. Outside work, her interests include travelling, walking, folk dancing and jigsaw puzzles.

Sheraz Ali

Sheraz Ali is an Urdu Language Tutor at The University of Manchester. He received his PGCE MFL (S) Urdu/Spanish degree from Edge Hill University. He also holds an MA Urdu degree from The Islamia University of Bahawalpur Pakistan. He has published articles in UK and abroad on the future of Urdu as a modern language in the UK. He also has been part of Routes into Languages and FILTA, with whom he delivered Urdu CPD sessions for Urdu teachers. He has a keen interest in digital Urdu teaching and learning and has developed a verity of digital Urdu teaching and learning content. He wrote his first Urdu Reading and Writing book which was received very well by students and teachers alike. 

Professional Services Team

LEAP Administration

We have a dedicated administration team for the University Language Centre's LEAP Programme who can be reached on leap@manchester.ac.uk