Dr. Balyasnikova is broadly interested in (older) adult and lifelong learning. Currently, she is exploring older immigrants’ English language learning experiences in community-based settings. Her research draws on creative research methods to understand the complexity of learning processes in later adulthood. Namely, using narrative ethnographic methods, she merges traditional ethnographic data generation with facilitation of oral, written, and multimodal storytelling. By analyzing language learning that occurs at the intersection of ageing and immigration, her work suggests new pathways of community-based curriculum and educational policy in the context of changing demographics in Canada.
Dr. Balyasnikova's current research projects are:
- PhoneMe (in collaboration with Digital Literacy Centre in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at University of British Columbia). This project explores aesthetic sensory engagement with digitally mediated poetry, and potential of using poetry to promote community literacy and self-advocacy.
- Сollaborative narrative environments through story-stitching, story-acting, and story-art. Using storytelling as a pedagogical practice, this project examines how different forms of storytelling play out in older adult learning contexts.
- Tapestry of Tales. Through facilitation of storytelling workshops, this project explores what learning environments are most conducive to older immigrant language learning.
- Adult education: Contesting neoliberalization of adult learning and exploring alternative models of learning in the workplace.
- Educational gerontology: Understanding learning as a lifelong process with particular attention to learning in later life.
- Teaching English as an additional language: Challenging "nativespeakerism" in English language learning and critically analyzing processes of intercultural communication.
- Community-engaged/action research: Pushing research towards collaboration with communities and advocating for stakeholder-led research.
- Creative research methods: Expanding methodological boundaries in qualitative research, drawing on storytelling and poetry.
Faculty & School/Dept
- Faculty of Education -
- Apprenticeship Learning and Learning Communities (ED/EDST 3200)
- Educating for Activism (ED/EDST 4010)
- Qualitative Research Methods in Education (GS/EDUC 5200)
- Situated Learning and Education (ED/EDST 1100)
- Balyasnikova, N., & Gillard, S. (2021). "They gave me back my power": Strengthening older immigrants' language learning through arts- based activities Studies in the education of adults , 1-18.
- Balyasnikova, N., & James, K. (2021). PhoneMe Poetry: Mapping Community in the Digital Age Engaged Scholar Journal , 6 (2), 107-134 . doi:https://doi.org/10.15402/esj.v6i2.69984.
- Balyasnikova, N. (2020). An insider view: Understanding volunteers' experiences within a peer-to-peer language learning program in Vancouver's downtown eastside. BC TEAL Journal, 5 (1).
- Vasileva, O., & Balyasnikova, N. (2019). (Re) Introducing Vygotsky's thought: From historical overview to contemporary psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 10.
- Balyasnikova, N., & Gillard, S. (2018). "I Love to Write My Story": Storytelling and its role in seniors' language learning. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education,, 30 (2).
- Balyasnikova, N., Higgins, S., & Hume, M. (2018). Enhancing teaching English as an additional language through playfulness: Seniors' (Ethno) Drama Club in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. TESOL Journal, 9 (3).
- Gillard, S., Balyasnikova, N., Alkenbrack, B. (2020, May). Something Fun: Enhancing English learning for adult immigrants through the arts.. Presented at: Adult Education in Global Times, (online due to COVID-19). Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education.
- Balyasnikova, N., Gillard, S. (2019, June). Storytelling Club: An arts-based approach to older adult language learning. . Presented at: Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education.
- Balyasnikova, N., Gillard, S., & Korcheva, G. (2018, May). Circles within circles: Storying pedagogical practice, literacy research and community engagement. . Presented at: Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education.
- TESOL International Association : Chair-Elect of Intercultural Communication Interest Section; Coordinator of Culture and Intercultural Communication Research Strand
- Canadian Association for Studies of Adult Education
- Canadian Association on Gerontology
- The Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies: Program Co-Chair
York University Affiliations/Cross Appointments
- The Institute for Research on Digital Literacies: Digital Learning, Technology and New Pedagogies, Research Cluster Lead
- Parkdale Project Read: Board Member, Programming Committee