Heather Lotherington (retired Jul 2021 - )

Professor Emerita, Senior Scholar

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

Email: hlotherington@edu.yorku.ca


 HI! I retired as a full professor, in 2021. I continue to be involved in research on AI and language learning. Other research interests include: digital multimodality; mobile learning; multilingual and plurilingual education; digital and plurilingual litracies and pedagogical innovation. 


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 (2018, September). Scaffolding multilingual language education in digital times. . Presented at: Invited keynote presentation at Linguistic theory in second and foreign language teaching, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institut für Germanistik and Minin University, Braunschweig, Germany.
    • 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

    Production pedagogies for language learning in mobile digital environments

    Role: Principal Investigator

    Amount funded: $62,658

    Year Funded: 2019

    Duration: 2

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

    I am working with Kurt Thumlert as co-investigator, and an international team to experimentally design production pedagogies for mobile environments, taking consideration of how language itself has so drastically changed.

    Effects of mobile digital access on language forms and functions

    Role: Principal Investigator

    Amount funded: $3000.

    Year Funded: 2018

    Duration: 1

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

    Investigation of what is mobile in mobile language learning and what is typical of mobile language apps.

    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)

    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
    • York Research Leader, York University - 2016-2017
    • York-Massey Visiting Scholar, Massey College, University of Toronto - 2016-2017
    • Dean's Research Impact Award, Dean, Faculty of Education, York University - 2018-2019
    • Fellow, McLaughlin College, York University - 2021

    Professional Affiliations

    York University Affiliations/Cross Appointments