Elena McNeilly

Ms Elena McNeilly


  • BS8 1TE

Personal profile

Research interests

Elena has been an academic and a language specialist throughout her working life. She was appointed as a university lecturer in Russia soon after graduating and taught at the University of Tomsk for 11 years. She relocated to London to join JP Morgan, a major investment bank, where she  worked as part of a team of advisers to the governments of Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union. In 2000, Elena joined the Diplomatic Service Language Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London. At the Foreign Office she was Head of Russian and Eastern European languages and was in charge of the language training of all FCO officers posted to Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Elena specialised in teaching translation, liaison interpreting, political, legal and economic Russian to diplomats. She now works as a Senior Lecturer and Language Director for the Russian and Czech Department at the University of Bristol.  Elena’s academic interests include applied linguistics, translation theory and practice, unit and programme design, and the development of innovative language teaching techniques. Her interactive electronic textbooks Economic Russian and Getting on with Political Russian are widely used by diplomats studying Russian throughout the world. She has also published translations, including the translation of the critically acclaimed film 336 Rivers (1999) written and directed by the international artist João Penalva. 
In 2012, Elena won the University of Bristol E-learning Award for her innovative contribution to teaching translation. Elena created the Russian-English part of the pioneering distance-learning MA in Translation programme and wrote and delivered conference presentations on blended learning and developing transferable employability skills in teaching final-year students of Russian at conferences on national and international levels. 
Elena's recent academic articles include Ways to develop employability skills in teaching translation to final year students published in March 2021 in Professional Discourse and Communication, Vol 3, No 1, and Redesigning an undergraduate Russian language unit: reflections on aligning departmental pedagogic objectives with the new teaching programme and assessment published in November 2021 in the Education&Pedagogy Journal, Issue 2. 



Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

External positions

External examiner, King's College London

1 Sept 2017 → …

External examiner, Chartered Institute of Linguists

1 Sept 20081 Sept 2017


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