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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YD UK
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Current Members

Director: Julia Gillen

Associate Directors: Mary Hamilton & Uta Papen

Life President: David Barton

Current Faculty Members

Other Members

Awena Carter

Awena's doctoral research investigated how dyslexic children develop literacy as a result of a post progressive pedagogy. Her interests are in literacy as a social practice and in the pedagogical implications of this understanding of literacy in educational domains, especially with regard to dyslexic primary school children; and in constructivist philosophy and issues of self-hood and identity, especially with regard to literacy development as an empowering agent. Awena is currently supporting students with dyslexia at Lancaster University.

Current PhD Students

Robert Blake

Robert has worked in Basic Skills and Academic Support both as a teacher and teacher trainer, in Further and Higher Education. He is currently an Academic Support Tutor in the Student Learning Development Centre. He specialises in working with the science faculties and works with a range of home and international students on a range of immediate learning needs. His interests are in practitioner related matters concerning student learning and academic literacies, particularly text revision and the writing practices of university departments. The focus of his PhD research is on the student perspective concerning how HE students learn and develop academic writing practices through drafting and refining their assignments.

Margarita Calderon

I am interested in researching literacy practices and methods in developing countries. My recently completed PhD compares the meaning construction that Chilean early childhood pupils develop regarding two different literacy methods. In particular, it focuses on the differences that may be in meaning construction for children who learn to read and write with top down or bottom up methods. In addition, I am interested in studying the beliefs and family literacy practices in the Chilean context to analyse the relation between meaning construction and literacy family practices and methods.

Tony Capstick

Tony Capstick is combining the Discourse Historical Approach of Critical Discourse Analysis with New Literacy Studies in his study of migration literacies between Pakistan and Britain. He has recently completed his PhD.

Katy Jones

Katy is working towards a PhD in Educational Research, investigating the role of literacy and numeracy in strategies to overcome labour market disadvantage amongst single homeless adults. Literacy and numeracy skills have a profound impact on labour market outcomes. Yet homeless people are one group which have often been excluded from opportunities to improve these skills, despite evidence that the need to do so is high amongst this group. As key providers of support services for homeless people, Katy’s research investigates the role of ‘basic skills’ education in the employment and training support offered by homelessness organisations. Katy is also a Researcher at The Work Foundation where she has recently been involved in research projects on youth unemployment and skills policy.


Michelle Lawson

Michelle Lawson is studying British migration to the Ariège region of southwest France.  She is particularly interested in how these ‘lifestyle migrants’ construct and define their identities as settlers in France.  She is using an ethnographic approach that includes the study of a online forum for migrants to examine the discourse and dynamics of this community.

Virginie Theriault

My recent PhD study endeavours to find out if the literacy practices used in support groups (e.g. courses on social and professional integration) for young Quebeckers aged between 16 to 25 years old with low levels of formal education can make a positive contribution to their personal and professional life and can play a role in increasing the place of literacy in their lives. I will use ethnography as a methodology and the two main methods selected are participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Two community-based organizations from Quebec (Canada) will participate to this project. See the CÉRTA website for further information about my publications and professional background.










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