Tribute to Mia

By Elsa Tragant

(Published in Learner Autonomy in Language Learning (, August 2011).



Mia Victori passed away on the 29th of November 2010 after having suffered from a sudden aneurism. She died at the age of 44 in Newport Beach while on a sabbatical at California State University. She was married and had three children (13, 9 and 4). Mia had a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics from UCLA (1989-90) and a PhD from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) (1995). Victori was an associate professor in Applied Linguistics at the UAB and a member of GRAL research group (Universitat de Barcelona).

Early in her career, Victori did pioneer work in the area of metacognitive knowledge in TESOL. Her work on learner autonomy and learning strategies is well known and often cited. She had recently started a large Ministry-funded research project on CLIL. Her latest publications include “Perceived vs. actual strategy use across three oral communication tasks” coauthored with S. Khan (IRAL, 49,1) and the chapter “CLIL in Catalonia: an overview of research” coauthored with T. Navés in CLIL in Spain: Implementation, Results and Teacher Training (Eds. Y. Ruiz de Zarobe & D. Lasagabaster).    

Mia Victori had a strong vocation for teaching and research and loved the field of Applied Linguistics. She had always been a strong believer in learner autonomy and had started and directed one of the first university self-access centers in Spain. She was a frequent participant in AILA conferences. She was a member of the Learner Autonomy Research Network from its foundation and ran for Convenor in the last elections. She always looked forward to the AILA conferences and had several friends among the ReNLA members. Those of us who had the privilege of meeting or working with her know she was a good listener as well as efficient and modest. She is a great loss in our academic community, where she will certainly be missed.

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Fama Thiam  |  August 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    We must know that living is only important if we are willing to help one another like humans, but also learn to share our experience and knowledge.Thus when I’ve read Tribute to Mia I’ve felt that she managed to do so.
    May she rest in peace!

  • 2. Richard Pemberton  |  August 4, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    What a sad loss especially to her husband and young family, but also to her colleagues and to the wider learner autonomy and CLIL communities. I’ll never forget a magical evening of salsa dancing at the AILA 2005 conference in Madison. A dedicated colleague and a lively spirit. Mia’s memory will live on.

  • 3. Sara Cotterall  |  August 5, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Mia will be sadly missed not only by her family, students and colleagues in Spain but by many in the international Learner Autonomy in Language Learning community. I no longer remember at which AILA congress I first met Mia, but was impressed by her beauty, her warmth and her enthusiasm for research and teaching. We remained in touch (mostly by email) for many years until finally meeting up again in person at the AILA congress in Madison in 2005. I will always remember her with great fondness. Que descanse en paz.
    Sara Cotterall

  • 4. Joan Rubin  |  August 9, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Shocking that someone so young, so kind, and so good at promoting language learning skills is gone. I spent a delightful lunch with her in Barcelona and then
    had the pleasure of including her article in our System issue on Language Advising.
    Her ideas there showed how committed she was to helping her students.

    I can’t even imagine the loss and shock her husband and sons are feeling. My
    sincere condolences on your great loss.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

%d bloggers like this: