Identity, voice, and agency: Key concepts for an inclusive teaching of writing in the university




Higher Education, Academic writing, Latin America, Inclusion, Equity


Amidst the process of enrollment growth in Higher Education in Latin America, several inclusion policies that benefit traditionally excluded students stand out. However, academic writing continues to be a challenge for their academic pathways. The objective of this article is to propose an evidence-based conceptual framework on inclusion and writing, aiming to overcome deficit narratives and to vindicate student perspectives. Using a qualitative design, we conducted interviews and surveys with the participants of a national inclusive admissions program in three Chilean universities, which were analyzed using thematic codes and qualitative reliability protocols. The results show a low student appreciation of their varied and frequent vernacular literacy practices and a pervading tension between their identity and linguistic performance in different spaces, within and outside the academia. In addition, self-managed literacy practices, commitment to the task of writing and the possibility of putting one's own perspective into writing appear to be factors of persistence. The article offers evidence-based suggestions on how to operationalize university inclusion in the writing curriculum, based upon the concepts of identity, voice, and agency of students.


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Author Biographies

Natalia Ávila Reyes, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Federico Navarro, Universidad de O'Higgins

Federico Navarro es Doctor en Lingüística. Se desempeña como profesor asociado del Instituto de Ciencias de la Educación de la Universidad de O’Higgins e investigador asociado del CIAE, Instituto de Estudios Avanzados en Educación de la Universidad de Chile. Ha sido investigador principal o coinvestigador en nueve proyectos de investigación financiados sobre escritura y enseñanza. Es autor de “Escribir para aprender: disciplinas y escritura en la escuela secundaria” y editor del volumen "Enseñanza de la Escritura en Educación Superior: el rol de la lectura y la escritura en la inclusión, equidad y calidad educativas”, entre otras publicaciones.

Mónica Tapia-Ladino, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción

Mónica Tapia-Ladino es Doctora en Lingüística por la Universidad de Concepción. Ha sido investigadora responsable y coinvestigadora de diversos proyectos Fondecyt y Fonide. Su investigación gravita en torno a la lingüística aplicada y el discurso académico, con especial énfasis en los procesos de retroalimentación en el nivel universitario. Fue presidenta de la Sociedad Chilena de Lingüística entre 2013 y 2017. Actualmente es Vicerrectora de Investigación y Postgrado de la Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción.



How to Cite

Ávila Reyes, N., Navarro, F., & Tapia-Ladino, M. (2020). Identity, voice, and agency: Key concepts for an inclusive teaching of writing in the university. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 28, 98.




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