Dr Sabine Little, BMus, PGCE, PCHE, CiLT, Med, MA, PhD, SFHEA

Photograph of Sabine LittleLecturer in Educational Studies (Languages Education),
Director for iPGCE
Director for MA in Applied Professional Studies in Education (Online),
Director for MA in Educational Studies: Learning, Teaching and Research (Malta),
Director for MA in Languages, Education and Research (Malta)

Director for MA in Early Childhood Education (Malta)
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 8089
Email: s.little@sheffield.ac.uk
Room: 4.12


Research Interests

Research interests

Sabine has a number of research interests, which are multi-faceted and overlapping.

In the field of Languages Education, Sabine's research focuses on young speakers of heritage languages, and the role of the family to support both heritage language development and "school work". She is also interested in the constructions of identity for speakers of multiple languages, and games-based language learning.

More generically, Sabine is interested in collaborative learning, whether in the classroom, online, or from a professional and/or learning development perspective. Other aspects of this inter-related work include learner motivation and aspirations, and the advancements and affordances of technology-enhanced learning in relation to the above.

Sabine has been involved in numerous projects, attracting funding from ERASMUS, the UK Literacy Association, Booktrust, JISC, the Society for Educational Studies, etc. She regularly participates in public engagement events, sharing her research with the wider public, particularly teachers, families and children.

Sabine has recently completed a research project funded by the UK Literacy Association, where she worked with heritage language families to explore how they use technology to support the heritage language. The results of the study are currently being disseminated locally, nationally and internationally.

In summer 2016, Sabine was part of a successful ERASMUS bid. Together with colleagues from Germany, Spain, Ireland and Luxembourg, she will be working on a project that will focus on helping children from immigrant and refugee families, by giving teachers a platform to exchange ideas and develop their skills of teaching reading in multicultural, plurilingual, and diverse classrooms.



Following her early career as a language teacher (German and French) in secondary school, Sabine has taught across many of the programmes within the School of Education, ranging from the BA in Education, Culture and Childhood to the PGCE and iPGCE, multiple MA Programmes and the EdD programme. She also supervises both PhD and EdD students, mainly in the area of languages education (see below).

Sabine spent several years working as a Learning Development and Research Fellow for Networked Learning at the Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS), a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. As part of this role, she supported excellent learning and teaching practice across the University of Sheffield – particularly the creation and development of innovative and effective new ideas to implement and support online learning, and also developed and co-facilitated (with a student) the highly acclaimed Student Ambassador Network, consisting of students and academic staff collaborating in order to develop and improve high quality learning and teaching experiences at all levels within the institution.



Little, S (ed.) (2011) Staff-Student Partnerships in Higher Education. London: Continuum

Journal Articles

Little, S. and Al-Wahaibi, S. (2017): ''We Are Not As They Think About Us': Exploring Omani EFL Learners' 'Selves' in Digital Social Spaces'. Multicultural Education Review. DOI: 10.1080/2005615X.2017.1346557

Little, S. (2017) 'A generational arc: early literacy practices among Pakistani and Indian heritage language families’. International Journal of Early Years Education, DOI: 10.1080/09669760.2017.1341302

Little, S. (2016) Promoting a collective conscience: designing a resilient staff–student partnership model for educational development, in International Journal for Academic Development, 21:4, 273-285, DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2016.1209505

Nutbrown, C., Clough, P., Levy, R., Little, S., Lamb, T., and Yamada-Rice, D., (2016) 'Families’ roles in children’s literacy in the UK throughout the 20th century', in Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. DOI: 10.1177/1468798416645385

Levy, P., Aiyegbayo, O. and Little, S. (2009) ‘Designing for inquiry-based learning with the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS)’, in Journal of Computer-Assisted Learning, 25 (3): 238-250.

McKinney, P., Little, S. and Wood, J. (2009) ‘A learning development team: Three developers, one pedagogy’, in Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 1: 2-16.

Little, S. (2008) ‘Inquiry-based learning and technology – supporting institutional TEL within one pedagogical context’, in M McPherson and A Whitworth (eds): British Journal of Educational Technology. Special Issue: Best Practice or Situated Action: The Organization of Technology Enhanced Learning. London: Blackwell

Book chapters

Lamb, T. and Little, S. (2016): Assessment for Autonomy, Assessment for Learning, and Learner Motivation: Fostering Learner Identities. In D. Tsagari (ed) Classroom-based Assessment in L2 Contexts. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press (pp. 184-206)

Little, S. (2008) ‘Oily Rag or Winged Messenger: The role of the developer in multi-professional teams’, in R Donnelly and F McSweeney (eds): Applied E-Learning and E-Teaching in Higher Education. Hershey, PA: IGI Publishing

Little, S. (2008): ‘Linking collaboration to learner autonomy: peer cognizance in action’, in M Jiménez Raya and T
Lamb (eds): Pedagogy for autonomy in modern languages education: theory, practice, and teacher education. Dublin: Authentik

Little, S. (2008) ‘Supporting a dispersed community: CoP development in the Caribbean’ in C Kimble and P Hildreth (eds) Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators (Volume 2). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing: 105-124


Little, S. (2008) ‘The role of the developer in institutional change: Tales from the edge’, Networked Learning Conference, Halkidiki, Greece

Research Briefings

Little, S. (2012) What are the attributes and practices of motivational teachers? Research Briefing, Regional Education Expertise Forum (REEF). Sheffield: University of Sheffield / Sheffield Hallam University