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

Natalia Ávila Reyes, Federico Navarro, Mónica Tapia-Ladino


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.


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


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Copyright (c) 2020 Natalia Ávila Reyes, Federico Navarro, Mónica Tapia-Ladino


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