Natalia Balyasnikova

Assistant Professor

Ph.D, - University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada


Website: Twitter ; Research Gate


 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. 
  • –°ollaborative 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. 

Scholarly Interests

  • 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 -

Courses Taught

  • 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)

Selected Publications

Selected Presentations

Professional Affiliations

York University Affiliations/Cross Appointments

Service/Community Activities