PhD student and ECR network

Join our Literacy research network for PhD students!

We invite all PhD students and early career researchers working in literacy as a social practice to join the Literacy Research network for PhD students. This will be a space for collaborating and sharing works in progress with other PhD students in a more casual way, set up by PhD students, for PhD students and ECRs. This invitation is NOT restricted to PhD students from Lancaster University.

What is this group about? 

The main initial goals of this PhD Literacy Research network would be to:

  • Engage in conversations with other PhD students in a more informal-casual way;
  • Share our own research designs, methods, and procedures of data collection, among others, to receive feedback and learn from others’ work.
  • Collaborate with each other by sharing references and readings, among others.

How to participate? 

If you are interested in joining this group, just let the organizers know by registering in this form.

If you are interested in presenting your work in progress in one of our upcoming sessions, please email us at

Soledad Montes Sánchez and Denise de Pauw

Please see below for details of upcoming work in progress discussions and presentations- click on the Teams link to register and receive the joining link.

N.B. regular timeslot from May onwards is Monday 3-4 pm- look forward to seeing you soon!

Sole and Denise



We are delighted to share our summer schedule below and hope you’ll join us for what promise to be interesting and thought-provoking talks, with some time for informal discussion.

Please note the slight change in time to reflect international clock changes, and also a switch to a new platform, Zoom, which we hope will provide a smoother experience.

Join us on our permanent ZOOM LINK below- copy and paste into your browser, or join from the app.

Topic: PhD/ECR literacy as social practice network

Time: All sessions are 3-4pm UK time (4 pm South Africa/ 9 am Mexico/10 am Chile and Canada/Argentina 11 am).

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 838 2813 6031

Passcode: $dYXf4

Date  Speaker   Presentation details 
Monday 23th May Carlos Rojas, Universidad Veracruzana, México Title: Becoming an educational researcher: an autoethnographic and intercultural approach  

Abstract: In this presentation, I will describe and analyse the literacy development of a group of educational researchers in Mexico that aim to frame a community. First, I will share some personal reflections based on my own locus of enunciation and positionality as a researcher. Particularly, I will focus on the selection of this community, the alienation needed to distance myself from their epistemological culture, the place of randomness in this process, and some meanings of the writing process itself. I will describe the methodological design that combines an autoethnographic perspective and contemporary art. This approach allowed me to identify contrasting appropriations of the educative discourse through its text diversity, genres, and writing styles. Finally, I will share some findings and preliminary conclusions about the different phases of literacy development based on its political, historical, and economic conditions. 

Monday 27th June Lisa Treffry-Goatley

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Title: Multilingual children at their local library: some preliminary data from two public libraries in South Africa and Kenya 

My research into children’s literacy practices is motivated by my work in educational publishing for multilingual African contexts and a keen interest in qualitative engagement with children representing a diversity of bi/multilingual experiences. In addition to deepening scholars’ understanding of learners with multiple linguistic proficiencies, such engagements also create space to review and possibly invigorate normative/dominant theories about literacy and language.The results of standardised literacy assessments are often conveyed in terms of a discourse of deficit concerning representations of bi/multilingual young people from socio-economically marginalised contexts, especially in the global South. I would like to offer a richer and more nuanced picture of multilingual African children’s language and literacy repertoires, while also addressing the issue of how such children continue to be systemically marginalised through language hegemony and social injustice. In this presentation I will share some of my emerging findings from ethnographic fieldwork with children at two public libraries, in socio-economically marginalised areas of urban Kenya and South Africa. My focus during the library fieldwork was the activities of children as regards their language(ing) and literacy practices in general, but particularly engaging with primary school-aged children about language, reading/viewing practices, and reading materials.

Monday 25th July Pingping Xie, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland Title: Translanguaging practices in online chat as language learning opportunities: A Study of Chinese University Learners’ WeChat Use 

Abstract: In this presentation, I will discuss insights based on preliminary analysis of my PhD project, which examines online translanguaging practices of Chinese university students who are sojourning in the UK. By adopting literacy as social practice as the theoretical framework, I will review how Chinese international students take advantage of networking opportunities when they are studying in the UK and how they treat social events as language learning opportunities, especially regarding their translanguaging practices on social media.This study adopts a mixed-methods approach. A baseline survey is conducted first, then followed by a collection of posts & chat logs of WeChat, and techno-biographic interviews, to investigate how technology and social media have affected Chinese students’ literacy practices online and study experience. How transitions over time vary and how language is learned and conducted in the informal digital context can affect students’ language learning and study practices. For this discussion, I intend to share a preliminary analysis with the audience and engage in a conversation on how my results could inform us about how the translanguaging practices of Chinese international students’ innovative forms of “networked language learning” cross the boundaries of social and educational life.

Spring 2022 schedule

We are pleased to open new work in progress discussions!

See our list of presentations + discussions below

Monday 14th February 2022

4pm (U.K. time)


Marília Camponogara Torres

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil)



Negotiating voice: An ethnographic academic writing study in a postgraduate multilingual context


In this talk, I will explore some of my perceptions on how students negotiate their voice in the context of a postgraduate multilingual program in Brazil. First, I will briefly discuss what I have been reading about voice through a sociocultural lens (Canagarajah & Matsumoto, 2016; Ivanic & Camps, 2001; Hyland, 2008). Second, I will present my context of investigation and the methodology that I am employing to conduct my data collection and analysis. Finally, I will discuss some of my initial findings on students’ voice while writing their master’s thesis.

Monday 14th March 2022

4.30 pm (U.K. time)

Samia Zayed

Western University


A Comparative Case Study of the Teacher’s Role in Curriculum-Making: Teacher Agency, Relationships and Curriculum


Research (Min 2019; Poullton 2020; Priestley et al., 2015; Priestley et al., 2021) indicates curricula’ positive effects and outcomes that explicitly support teacher agency in curriculum making. Recent curriculum policies in many different countries, including Scotland, Australia, and Brazil, have acknowledged teachers as agents of change (Goodson, 2003; Nieveen, 2011; Lennert da Silva and Molstad, 2020; Poulton 2020; Priestley, 2012; Priestley et al., 2015) suggesting the importance of teachers having a role in curriculum development. This teacher view comes after decades of policy de-professionalizing teachers through prescriptive curricula and standardized testing (Priestley et al., 2013). These recent moves to encourage teachers to contribute to curriculum development effectively and reform imply instituting a bottom-up curriculum approach that centers teachers in the curriculum-making process. The literature related to the ecological model of teacher agency (Priestley et al. 2015) indicates that programmatic curricula are important to supporting teacher agency and can be considered as part of a complex cluster of other individuals, social, cultural, and material dimensions that enable/disable teacher agency. Unfortunately, not all curricular policies support teacher agency.

My teaching experience in Libya, the findings of my master’s research, and my new learning experience in Canada (Ph.D. courses and seminars) have all given rise to the specific focus of my Ph.D. dissertation (teacher agency, relationships, and curriculum). These factors are also motivating me to want to initiate cross-academic cultural information exchange and appreciation. Specifically, my study seeks to understand the role of professional relationships in teachers’ agency and how these relations may or may not be impacted by the programmatic and institutional curriculum in two different contexts (Canada and Libya) using mutable data sources (interview and document analysis).

Monday 18th April 2022

4.30 pm (U.K. time)

Jesica Franco

Universidad Veracruzana



Reading and Writing Conceptions in a Graduate Program in Architecture in Mexico


In this talk, I will present the results of a research study carried out in a graduate program in Architecture, in a public university in Mexico. The objective of the study was to describe the conceptions that teachers and students hold in relation to academic reading and writing. In order to achieve this, I adopted a plurimethodical perspective and divided the study into two phases. In phase one, I applied a self-administered questionnaire with open-ended questions to explore the conceptions and determine key actors. In phase two, I conducted interviews with teachers and students. The results, consistent with other research, verify that conceptions are not presented as opposites in the same person, but there is a greater proportion of one or the other. Thus, those who have a greater proportion of transmissive conceptions understand that reading and writing are processes of encoding and decoding written messages, which are used to obtain or transmit information. That is, reading and writing are conceived as general tools that can be used in any context. On the contrary, those whose conceptions are mostly transactional conceive reading and writing as dialogic, creative and meaning-building processes that are used to think (analyse, question, problematize), transform one’s own thinking and form one’s own criteria.


Autumn 2021 schedule

Monday 15th


4pm (U.K. time)

Ana Cortés

Syracuse University (USA)


A life in boxes: tracing the informed consent genre inside CVD’s archive

Teams LINK

In this presentation I will share some of my findings and challenges in trying to bring archival material to life to understand the literate practices of a vaccine research center located in Santiago de Chile. This work is part of my dissertation project and looks specifically into the informed consent and how it is located and contextualized within the larger genre ecology of the research project. Through intertextual analysis, I locate the informed consent at three moments in the research project: the protocol design; the application of consent with participants; and the re-visions following the emergence of serious adverse events. What this analysis suggests is that the informed consent is not a form, but an ongoing process, distributed across multiple moments, actors, and actions, that runs throughout the whole research. This invites reflections on the nature of written genres and reinforces the importance of studying literacies ecologically.

Monday 13th  December

4pm (U.K. time)

Research Group coordinators Social meeting

Teams LINK

This meeting is a social encounter with members. We will bring a topic of discussion related to the practice of research in literacy studies. This will be a fantastic opportunity to get to know other members and make relevant contacts with those with similar research interests.

Monday 17th January 

4pm (U.K. time)

Soledad Montes

Lancaster University


Students’ writing from an emic perspective: talking around text interviews as a methodological and theoretical option

Teams LINK

In this presentation, I will share the process of analysis of 10 “talking around text interviews” (Lillis, 2008, 2001; Ivanic, 1998) with Chilean students from schools with a high index of economic vulnerability (according to the Ministry of Education of Chile, 2021). In this analysis, I pay attention to students’ perspectives on their own writing practices and their choices of meaning-making through texts. I also look at how texts are mediated by artifacts and technologies that play a role in students’ transitions to further education. Finally, I will discuss the “talking around text” method –and the theory behind it– to reflect on the role of students’ perspectives in the study of writing.