Heather Lotherington

Professor, Associate Dean Research

B.A. - University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, N.B.; Cert. T.E.S.L. - Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario; M.A. - Lancaster University, Lancaster, U.K.; Ph.D. - University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Location(s) / Contact Info:

282A, Winters College - WC
Keele Campus
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext. 22024

Email: hlotherington@edu.yorku.ca

CV of Heather Lotherington

Available to supervise graduate students
Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects


HI! I am currently Associate Dean, Research in the Faculty of Education where I also hold a Professorship in Multilingual Education. I am interested in multimodality; multilingual and plurilingual education; language, literacy and technology; and pedagogical innovation. My research projects over the past decade have approached different facets of language, literacy, education and digital multimodality.
My latest book is: Teaching Young Learners in a Superdiverse World: Multimodal Approaches and Perspectives (Routledge, 2017), co-edited with Cheryl Paige. This is a first person, multi-voiced follow-up to Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Rewriting Goldilocks (Routledge, 2011). These two volumes (and myriad papers) chronicle the decade-long, award winning collaborative action research venture between York University and Joyce Public School (Toronto District School Board) that I spearheaded with Cheryl, and undertook with Professor Jen Jenson. Our current volume illustrates how we co-designed a sustainable model of innovative classroom teaching, learning and internal professional development that utilized plurilingualism and digital multimodality.
Current research interests centre around language teaching/learning in mobile environments, exploring the posthuman spectrum in communication, and machine emergence in the teaching of human languages.

Scholarly Interests

Multilingual education; Multimodal literacies; Literacy and culture; Communication and education

Research Areas

Faculty & School/Dept

  • Faculty of Education - Bachelor of Education - Graduate Studies

    Selected Publications

    Selected Presentations

    • Heather Lotherington (2017, May). Post-modernizing school learning: An evolving playbook to re-read/write language and literacy education for civic engagement. Presented at: LLRC Pre-Conference, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Calgary, AB
    • Heather Lotherington (2016, October). From multiliteracies to posthumanism: Language, literacy, education and society at a digital crossroads. . Presented at: Digital Literacies Symposium, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
    • Heather Lotherington (2016, March). Teaching multimodal literacies in the superdiverse elementary classroom. . Presented at: COST Action IS 1410: The digital literacy and multimodal practices of young children (DigiLitEY) Cyprus
    • Heather Lotherington (2015, April). Conversations with Siri: English language learning opportunities in the post-human spectrum. . Presented at: BIT’s 4th Annual World Congress of Emerging Info-Tech, Shenzhen, China
    • Heather Lotherington (2015, March). How to build your own world: Language, identity and learning in a superdiverse elementary classroom.. Presented at: Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.
    • Heather Lotherington (2014, April 8). Rewriting communicative competence for the cloud. Presented at: Global Learning Alliance Conference, Teachers’ College, Columbia University, New York, NY.
    • Heather Lotherington (2014, March 31). Revolution below the radar: Action research towards plurilingual education in the superdiverse elementary school. Presented at: University of Oulu, Finland
    • Heather Lotherington (2014, March 20). Reimagining communicative competence for global conversations in a digital world. . Presented at: University of Jyväskylä, Finland
    • Heather Lotherington (2014, February 28). From ABCs to multimedia programming: Reconceptualizing language and literacy education. . Presented at: Linnaeus University, Sweden
    • Heather Lotherington (2014, February 24). Can communicative competence be upgraded for 2.0 communication practices?. Presented at: Institute of Education, University of London, UK.
    • Lotherington, H. (2013. February). Literacy, mediation, and complexity. . Presented at: Research Workshop on Language and Literacy, King's College London
    • Lotherington, H. (2011, November). Teacher development from the inside out: Connecting multiliteracies research to classroom language and literacy teaching and community awareness. . Presented at: National Association of Foreign Language Education, Beijing, China
    • Lotherington, H. (2011, May). Collaborative action research in an urban elementary school: Developing multimodal literacies at Joyce Public School. . Presented at: Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg, Germany
    • Lotherington, H. (2010, February). Comics, games, movies, talk shows: Re-imagining emergent literacy instruction as multimodal collaboration in the multicultural urban classroom. Presented at: Pro.T, Cordoba Argentina
    • Lotherington, H. (2009, November). Scaffolding inclusive language and literacy education: Interdisciplinary digital narrative projects at primary school. Presented at: National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC), Reading, U.K.
    • Lotherington, H. (2009, May). Schools as shared cultural spaces. Presented at: Merchavim and the Walter Lebach institute, University of Tel-Aviv
    • Lotherington, H., organizer (2009, April). Language Immersion in formal and informal contexts: Plurilingual voices. Presented at: New Perspectives for Research and Public Policy, CCERBAL, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), University of Ottawa
    • Lotherington, H. (2009, March). L1, L2, LX: Teaching multimodal learners in the millennium classroom. Presented at: TESOL Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado, USA
    • Lotherington, H. (2007, May). Literacy, language and technology: New narratives and new educational possibilities. Presented at: Leading Learning Conference, Huntsville, Ontario
    • Lotherington, H. (2006, March). The evolution of digital literacies. Presented at: Big Ideas, TVOntario, hosted by Andrew Moodie

    Other Research Outputs

    Academia.edu profile: https://yorku.academia.edu/HeatherLotherington

    ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heather_Lotherington 



    Research Projects

    Coming to grips with digital tools for English language learning: What is out there?

    Role: Principal Investigator

    Amount funded: $2203.70

    Year Funded: 2016

    Duration: 1

    Funded by: Faculty of Education Minor Research Grant

    Investigating the use of mobile apps for English language teaching

    Role: Principal Investigator

    Amount funded: $2,000

    Year Funded: 2015

    Duration: 1

    Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

    Remediating communicative competencies

    Role: Principal Investigator

    Year Funded: 2014

    Duration: 3

    Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

    Researching new literacies in the multicultural classroom: Developing a ludic approach to linguistic challenges in elementary education.

    Role: Principal Investigator

    Amount funded: $125,788

    Year Funded: 2008

    Duration: 4

    Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)


    • 2010 Toronto District School Board Award for program/project excellence , Toronto District School Board - 2010
    • (Inaugural) Researcher of the Month, January-May 2012 , People for Education - 2012
    • Gordon and Jean Southam Fellowship, Association of Commonwealth Universities Titular Fellowship - 2017

    Professional Affiliations

    York University Affiliations/Cross Appointments