Raúl Alberto Mora – April 12, 2015 – “Revisiting Today’s Language Ecologies: New Questions about Language Use and Literacy Practices”

Dr. Raúl A. Mora

Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia

“Revisiting Today’s Language Ecologies: New Questions about Language Use and Literacy Practices” 

APRIL 12, 2015, 3:00 p.m.

Eastern Time Zone/New York/USA


Dr. Raúl Alberto Mora, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia

Dr. Raúl Alberto Mora, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia


Dr. Raúl Alberto Mora  is a professor of English education and literacy at UPB-Medellin in Colombia. At his university, he currently coordinates the MA in Learning and Teaching Processes in Second Languages (Maestría en Procesos de Aprendizaje y Enseñanza de Segundas Lenguas), or ML2 and holds the post of Research Coordinator for the School of Education and Pedagogy. He also chairs the Literacies in Second Languages Project, a research team featuring preservice teachers and master’s student that studies the emergence of alternative literacies in urban, virtual, and school contexts in the city.

Dr. Mora participates on several editorial boards, including Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy (where he currently serves a Policy and Advocacy Department Editor), and the Editorial Boards for PROFILE and HOW journals in Colombia. He is currently involved in diverse research and publication efforts with scholars in Colombia, the U.S., and England. He has presented and published his research (both in person and virtually) in Colombia, the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Vietnam, Spain, India, and Russia.

A former Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Mora earned his Ph.D. in Language and Literacy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Today, he is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Colombian Fulbright Commission. Dr. Mora’s first language is Spanish, but he also speaks English, French, Portuguese, and is learning Russian. He has presented and published his research (both in person and virtually) in Colombia, the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Vietnam, Spain, India, and Russia.


In the last decade, literacy researchers have agreed that language practices are in a faster state of evolution than previous times. Technology, social mobility, and the new community configurations via social networks are opening new spaces for language use and are reconfiguring how we understand and frame today’s language ecologies, languages themselves, and literacy at large. These new configurations call for new frameworks that promote equitable language and literacy practices and that offer language users in our cities a wider range of options to play with the different languages that already dwell there.

This seminar will introduce some of those questions as we have explored them in our research agenda at the Literacies in Second Languages Project (LSLP). The first part of the seminar will revisit the question of whether we should still use the notion of “foreign languages” today. I will problematize some of the issues I have found with this term and why, instead, we are talking about “second languages” as a more fluid concept. Then, I will share our current work at LSLP, including our conceptual frameworks, where we look at how literacy practices in second languages are reshaping a city that conventional wisdom and government policy assume as “monolingual”. We will discuss our current findings and ongoing research as they keep showing us that language policies for Colombia and other countries should keep in mind the existing multilingual literacy practices that already exist in our cities.

Featured Publications


Mora, R. A. (2014a). Critical literacy as policy and advocacy: Lessons from Colombia. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 58(1). 16-18. doi:10.1002/jaal.329

Mora, R. A. (2014b). 21st Century literacies in the Colombian context: Experiences in language teacher education. Available from http://www.initiativefor21research.org/1/post/2014/04/21st-century-literacies-in-the-columbian-context-experiences-in-language-teacher-education.html

Mora, R. A. (2013). The notion of second languages: Responding to today’s linguistic ecologies. The Journal for ESL Teachers and Learners, 2, 53-61.

Mora, R. A. (2012a). Bourdieu y la formación de docentes: Reflexividad sobre los retos y horizontes en elcampo de la educación (Bourdieu and teacher education: Reflexivity about the challenges and horizons in the field of education). Revista Pensamiento Universitario23, 55-62.

Mora, R. A. (2012b). Literacidad y el aprendizaje de lenguas: nuevas formas de entender los mundos y las palabras de nuestros estudiantes (Literacy and language learning: new ways to understand our students’ words and worlds). Revista Internacional Magisterio, 58, 52-56.

Mora, R. A. (2011). Tres retos para la investigación y formación de docentes en inglés: reflexividad sobre las creencias y prácticas en literacidad (Three challenges for research and English teacher education: a reflexivity on literacy beliefs and practices). Revista Q, 5(10). Available from http://revistaq.upb.edu.co/ediciones/13/364/364.pdf

Book Chapters

Golovátina-Mora, P. & Mora, R. A. (2014). Monstrous other or an invisible self? A reflection on the role of self-other relations in the identity formation using an example of the image of the Medellín river (Medellín, Colombia). In I. Mišterová & E. Skopečková, (Eds.), A Search for Identity: Identity in Linguistic, Literary, Methodological, and Cultural Perspectives (pp. 123-142). Plzeň, Czech Republic: Západočeská univerzita v Plzni.

Mora, R. A. (2014a). La importancia de una postura crítica ante el <bilingüismo> para la formación de jóvenes líderes (The importance of a critical stance around <bilingualism> for youth leadership education). In L. Reales Jiménez (Ed.), De los derechos humanos al emprendimiento y la prosperidad en Colombia: Memorias de la Cátedra ASOUSA 2012-2014 (pp. 188-195). Bogotá, Colombia: Corporación Acción Ciudadana Colombia – AC Colombia.

Mora, R. A. (2014b). Media, uczestnictwo i umiejętności cyfrowe: nowy sposób kształtowania dzisiejszego środowiska językowego (Media, participation, and digital literacies: A new way to reframe today’s language ecologies). In P. Celiński (Ed.), Nowe media = nowa partycypacja (pp. 22-31). Lublin, Poland: Fundacja „Instytut Kultury Cyfrowej”

Mora, R. A., Martínez, J. D., Alzate-Pérez, L., Gómez-Yepes, R., & Zapata-Monsalve, L. M. (2012). Rethinking WebQuests in second language teacher education: The case of one Colombian university. In C. Wankel & P. Blessinger (Eds.) Increasing Student Engagement and Retention using Online Learning Activities: Wikis, Blogs and WebQuests (pp. 291-319) London, UK: Emerald. doi: 10.1108/S2044-9968(2012)000006A013

Web-Based Documents

Golovátina-Mora, P. & Mora, R. A. (2014). Multiculturalism. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 19. Available from: https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/key-concept-multiculturalism.pdf

Mora, R. A. (2014a). Conscientização. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 42. Available from https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/key-concepts-conscientizaccca7acc83o.pdf

Mora, R. A. (2014c). Language ecology. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 13. Available from http://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/key-concept-language-ecology.pdf

Mora, R. A. (2009). It’s not how literate we are, but how we are literate. ASOCOPI Newsletter, August, 2-5. Available from http://asocopi.org/files/Newsletter_August_2009.pdf

Mora, R. A. (2014f). Reflexivity. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 21. Available from https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/key-concept-reflexivity.pdf

Mora. R. A. (2014d). Literacy. LSLP Micro-Papers, 7. Available from http://www.literaciesinl2project.org/uploads/3/8/9/7/38976989/lslp-micro-paper-7-literacy.pdf

Mora, R. A. (2014b). Counter-narrative. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 36. Available from http://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/key-concept-counter-narrative.pdf

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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