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Professor Theresa Lillis

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor (English Lang/App Linguistics)
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Languages and Applied Linguistics
  • English Language and Applied Linguistics
  • theresa.lillis

Professional biography

I am a Professor of English Language and Applied Linguistics at The Open University. I am currently Principal Investigator of an ESRC funded research project on writing in professional social work Writing in professional social work practice in a changing communicative landscape 2015-2017  (ES/MOO8703/1).

With David Poveda (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain) I am co-editor of the journal Linguistics and Education http://www.journals.elsevier.com/linguistics-and-education/ and with Mary Jane Curry (University of Rochester, USA) co-convenor of an AILA (Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée) research network: Academic Publishing and Presenting in a Global Context. http://www.aila.info/networks/ren.html

My main research area is writing. I have been researching writing for some 20  years from a perspective that can be summarized as the politics of access, location, production and participation. I’m committed to using ethnography as an overarching research methodology and have an ongoing interest in developing ‘text oriented ethnographic approaches’, using a range of methods.  I have four main areas of interest:

1. STUDENT WRITING IN HIGHER EDUCATION. My research in academic writing developed out of a concern to explore the writing experiences and practices of ‘non traditional students’ in UK higher education - students from social groups historically excluded from higher education- motivated in part  by my own experince as a 'first generation' university participant. I’m interested in exploring which particular rhetorical and semiotic practices are valued in higher education and why, and in considering opportunities for extending the range of practices that can be used for meaning and knowledge making.

Some related publications:

Lillis, T. (2001) Student writing: access, regulation, desire. London: Routledge.

Lillis, T. and Scott, M. (2008) (eds) Special Issue of Journal of Applied Linguistics. New Directions in Academic Literacies. 4.1.

Lillis, T. (2011) Legitimising dialogue as textual and ideological goal in academic writing for assessment and publication, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education. 10, 4: 401-432.

Lillis, T., Harrington, K., Lea, M. and Mitchell, S. (eds) (2015) Working with academic literacies: Case studies towards transformative practice. Parlor Press.This is an open access book available here  http://wac.colostate.edu/books/lillis/

 

2. ACADEMIC WRITING FOR PUBLICATION IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT. With Mary Jane Curry, (University of Rochester, US)  I have been involved in a 10 year study of the writing for publication practices and experiences of  scholars working outside of the ‘Anglophone centre’ (Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal). I have also worked with Ann Hewings (Open University) and Dimitra Vladimirou (Hellenic American University) on building and analyzing a corpus of articles published in English medium ‘national’ journals. For details of the project see http://creet.open.ac.uk/projects/paw/

Some related publications:

Lillis, T. and Curry, M.J. (2010) Academic writing in a global context. London: Routledge.

Lillis, T., Hewings, A., Vladimirou, D. and Curry, M.J. (2010) The geolinguistics of English as an Academic Lingua Franca: citation practices across English medium national and English medium international journals. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 20,1: 111.135.

Lillis, T. ( 2012) Economies of signs in writing for academic publication: the case of English Medium “National” Journals. Journal of Advanced Composition.32.3-4 : 695-722

We have also published a book aimed at informing scholars' choices, decisions and practices about their academic writing for publication...

Curry, M.J. and Lillis, T. (2014) A scholars’ guide to getting published in English. Critical choices and practical strategies. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 

 

3. WRITING IN SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION AND PRACTICE. With Lucy Rai (Health and Social Care, Open University, UK), I  worked on several research projects seeking to document  the writing carried out in everyday social work practice and to explore the implications of our findings for university based pedagogy and professional training.

In October 2015 a newly ESRC funded research project on writing in social work started. The research team are Theresa Lillis, Maria Leedham and Alsion Twiner. Lucy Rai is chair of the advisory panel.

Some related publications:

Lillis, T. and Rai, L. (2011) A case study of a research based collaboration around writing in social work, Across the Disciplines ISSN: 1554-8244. Available at: http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/clil/lillis-rai.cfm

Lillis, T. and Rai, L. ( 2012) Quelle relation entre l’écrit académique et l’écrit professionnel? Une étude de cas dans le domaine du travail social. Pratiques.153/154.

4. WRITING WITH OLD AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR POPULAR POLITICAL ACTIVITY IN THE 21C.This is a recent research focus of mine which grew out of my interest in the range of writings being used in political demonstrations in Spain 2011 <<15-M>> including banners, Facebook, flipcharts, notebooks, texting, leaflets.

Some related publications:

Lillis, T. (2013).The sociolinguistics of writing.Edinburgh: EUP.

 

 

Research interests

Funded Research Projects 

October 2015        Economic and Social Research Council (ES/MOO803/1). £270,000. Principal Investigator.  Writing in professional social work practice in a  changing communicative landscape.

June 2009             Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC RES-063-27-0263) £228,296.61.Research Fellowship. The sociolinguistics of writing in a global context. (End of Award Report, April 2012)

March 2009         Action research Project with North East Derbyshire (NED) Adult Services £2000  Case notes in social work practice. (With Lucy Rai, HSC).

March 2009         PBPL/CETL funding of pilot project. £6000.Getting it write/right: Professional writing in social work. ( With Lucy Rai, HSC).

January 2007        Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC RES-00022-2234) £98,796. Principal Investigator. Trajectories of knowledge production: English medium academic writing for national, transnational and international contexts. Final report/outcomes awarded ‘Outstanding’ by ESRC.

April 2006            British Academy. £800. Travel grants to Hungary and Slovakia for project field work.

April 2004            British Academy. (SG38601) £4,863. Principal Investigator. Small grant. The impact of ‘literacy brokers’ on the production of academic texts in a global context.

January 2004      British Academy. £800. Travel grants to Hungary and Slovakia for project field work.

October 2002      Economic and Social Research Council(ESRC RES-000-22-0098): £40,677 Principal investigator. Professional academic writing in a global context (sites in Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal).

August 2002        British Academy. £800. Travel grants to Hungary and Slovakia for project field work.

March 2001         Open University Research Development Fund: £22,196. ‘Professional academic writing in a global context’ project (with M. J. Curry).

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
CREET: Language and Literacies Research ClusterClusterFaculty of Education and Language Studies

Publications

The politics of English, language and uptake: the case of international academic journal article reviews (2015-08)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
AILA Review, 28 (pp. 127-150)
Strategies and tactics in academic knowledge production by multilingual scholars (2014-05-05)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa
Education Policy Analysis Archives, 22, Article 32
‘Getting it Write’ in social work: exploring the value of writing in academia to writing for professional practice (2013)
Rai, Lucy and Lillis, Theresa
Teaching in Higher Education, 18(4) (pp. 352-364)
Economies of signs in writing for academic publication: the case of English Medium “National” Journals (2012)
Lillis, Theresa
Journal of Advanced Composition, 32(3/4) (pp. 695-722)
Quelle relation entre l’écrit académique et l’écrit professionnel? Une étude de cas dans le domaine du travail social [What is the relationship between academic writing and professional writing? A case study in the field of social work] (2012)
Lillis, Theresa and Rai, Lucy
Pratiques(153/4) (pp. 51-70)
Legitimising dialogue as textual and ideological goal in academic writing for assessment and publication (2011-10)
Lillis, Theresa
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 10(4) (pp. 403-434)
A case study of a research-based collaboration around writing in social work (2011-07)
Rai, Lucy and Lillis, Theresa
Across the disciplines, 8(3)
An international journal’s attempts to address inequalities in academic publishing: developing a writing for publication programme (2010-12)
Lillis, Theresa; Magyar , Anna and Robinson-Pant, Anna
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 40(6) (pp. 781-800)
Who's citing whose writings? A corpus based study of citations as interpersonal resource in English medium national and English medium international journals (2010-06)
Hewings, Ann; Lillis, Theresa and Vladimirou, Dimitra
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9(2) (pp. 102-115)
The geolinguistics of English as an academic lingua franca: Citation practices across English-medium national and English-medium international journals (2010)
Lillis, T.; Hewings, A.; Vladimirou, D. and Curry, M. J.
International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 20(1) (pp. 111-135)
Academic research networks: Accessing resources for English-medium publishing (2010)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa M.
English for Specific Purposes, 29(4) (pp. 281-295)
Étudiants déficitaires? Le dialogisme de Bakhtine dans l’exploration des pratiques d’écriture des étudiants 'non traditionnels' à l’université’ (2009)
Lillis, T.
Cahiers Théodile, 10 (pp. 117-132)
Ethnography as method, methodology, and "deep theorizing": closing the gap between text and context in academic writing research (2008)
Lillis, Theresa
Written Communication, 25(3) (pp. 353-388)
Defining academic literacies research: issues of epistemology, ideology and strategy (2007)
Lillis, Theresa and Scott, Mary
Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4(1) (pp. 5-32)
Reframing notions of competence in scholarly writing: From individual to networked activity (2006-11)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, 53(Special Is) (pp. 63-78)
Professional academic writing by multilingual scholars: interactions with literacy brokers in the production of English-medium texts (2006-01)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
Written Communication, 23(1) (pp. 3-35)
Multilingual scholars and the imperative to publish in English: Negotiating interests, demands, and rewards (2004)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa
TESOL Quarterly, 38(4) (pp. 663-688)
Student Writing as 'Academic Literacies': Drawing on Bakhtin to Move from Critique to Design (2003)
Lillis, Theresa
Language and Education, 17(3) (192 -207)
Student writing in higher education: contemporary confusion, traditional concerns (2001)
Lillis, Theresa and Turner, Joan
Teaching in Higher Education, 6(1) (pp. 57-68)
The Sociolinguistics of Writing (2013-03)
Lillis, Theresa
Edinburgh Sociolinguistics
ISBN : 978-0748637508 | Publisher : Edinburgh University Press | Published : Edinburgh
Academic Writing in a Global Context: The politics and practices of publishing in English (2010-04-15)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
ISBN : 978-0-415-46883-1 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
A dictionary of sociolinguistics (2004)
Swann, Joan; Deumert, Ana; Lillis, Theresa and Mesthrie, Rajend
ISBN : 074861690X | Publisher : Edinburgh University Press | Published : Endinburgh, UK
Teaching Academic Writing: A Toolkit for Higher Education (2003-11)
Coffin, Caroline; Curry, Mary Jane; Goodman, Sharon; Hewings, Ann; Lillis, Theresa and Swann, Joan
Coffin, Caroline; Curry, Mary Jane; Goodman, Sharon; Hewings, Ann; Lillis, Theresa and Swann, Joan eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-26136-4 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
Language, literacy and education: A reader (2003-03)
Goodman, Sharon; Lillis, Theresa; Maybin, Janet and Mercer, Neil
ISBN : 9781858562889 | Publisher : Trentham Books in association with The Open University | Published : Stoke on Trent, UK
Analysing language in context: A student workbook (2003-01)
Lillis, Theresa
ISBN : 978 1 85856 287 2 | Publisher : Trentham Books/Open University Press | Published : Stoke on Trent
Student writing: access, regulation, desire (2001-04-26)
Lillis, Theresa M.
Literacies
ISBN : 415228026 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : UK
Professional writers’ identities: the perceived influence of formal education and early learning (2017)
Cremin, Teresa; Lillis, Theresa; Myhill, Debra and Eyres, Ian
In: Cremin, Teresa and Locke, Terry eds. Writer identity and the teaching and learning of writing (pp. 19-36)
ISBN : 9781138948907 | Publisher : Routledge
Academic writing for publication in a multilingual world (2016-09)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
In: Manchón, Rosa M. and Matsuda, Paul Kei eds. Handbook of Second and Foreign Language Writing. Communication Competence Language and Communication Problems Practical Solutions (pp. 201-222)
ISBN : 978-1-61451-133-5 | Publisher : De Gruyter | Published : Boston/Berlin
Academic Literacies: a critical lens on writing and reading in the academy (2016-01-25)
Lillis, Theresa and Tuck, Jackie
In: Hyland, Ken and Shaw, Philip eds. The Routledge Handbook of English for Academic Purposes. Routledge Handbooks (pp. 30-43)
ISBN : 9781138774711 | Publisher : Routledge
Creativity in political discourse (2016)
Lillis, Theresa
In: Hann, David and Lillis, Theresa eds. The politics of langauge and creativity in a globalised world (pp. 65-113)
Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes
English medium writing for academic purposes: foundational categories, certainty and contingency (2012-01-12)
Lillis, Theresa
In: Tang, Ramona ed. Academic writing in a second or foreign language: Issues and challenges facing ESL / EFL academic writers in higher education contexts (pp. 235-247)
ISBN : 978-1-4411-1216-3. | Publisher : Continuum | Published : London
Making professional academic writing practices visible: Designing research-based heuristics to support English-medium text production (2010-05)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa
In: Harwood, Nigel ed. English Language Teaching Materials: Theory and Practice (pp. 321-345)
ISBN : 9780521198561 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge
Bringing writers' voices to writing research: Talk around texts (2009)
Lillis, Theresa
In: Carter, Awena; Lillis, Theresa and Parkin, Sue eds. Why Writing Matters: Issues of Acess and Identity in Writing Research and Pedagogy. Studies in Written Language and Literacy (12) (pp. 169-187)
ISBN : 9789027218070 | Publisher : Benjamins | Published : Amsterdam
La circulation de perspectives socioculturelles états-uniennes et britanniques : traitments de l'écrit dans le supérieur (2009)
Brereton, John; Donahue, Christiane; Gannett, Cinthia; Lillis, Theresa and Scott, Mary
In: Daunay, Bertrand; Delcambre, Isabelle and Reuter, Yves eds. Didatique du Français, le Socioculturel en Question. Éducation et Didactiques (pp. 51-68)
ISBN : 978-2-75740-090-6 | Publisher : Presses Universitaires du Septentrion | Published : Villeneuve d'Ascq
Academic writing in English (2007-03)
Hewings, Ann; Lillis, Theresa and Mayor, Barbara
In: Mercer, Neil; Swann, Joan and Mayor, Barbara eds. Learning English (pp. 227-252)
ISBN : 978-0-415-37687-7 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
'Academic Literacies' Research as Pedagogy: Dialogues of Participation (2006)
Lillis, T.M.
In: Ganobscik-Williams, Lisa ed. Teaching academic writing in UK Higher Education : Theories, practices and models. Universities into the 21st Century
ISBN : 9781403945341 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : Basingstoke, Hampshire
Readers and Writers (2006)
Lillis, T.
In: Goodman, Sharon and O'Halloran, Kieran eds. The Art of English: literary creativity (pp. 414-462)
ISBN : 9781403985606 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : London
Academic writing (2006)
Lillis, Theresa and North, Sarah
In: Potter, Stephen ed. Doing postgraduate research (2nd ed). Open University series (pp. 114-151)
ISBN : 9781412924047 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London
Communicative competence (2005-11)
Lillis, T. M.
In: Brown, Keith ed. Encyclopedia of language and linguistics (2nd ed) (pp. 666-673)
ISBN : 9780080442990 | Publisher : Elsevier | Published : Oxford
Student status and the question of choice in academic writing (2005-07)
Lillis, T. and Ramsey, M.
In: Herrington, Margaret and Kendall, Alex eds. Insights from Research and Practice: A Handbook for Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL Practitioners
ISBN : 9781862012448 | Publisher : NIACE | Published : Leicester, UK
Introduction: mapping the traditions of a social perspective on language and literacy (2003)
Lillis, Theresa
In: Goodman, Sharon; Lillis, Theresa; Maybin, Janet and Mercer, Neil eds. Language, literacy and education: a reader (xiii-xxii)
Publisher : Trentham Books | Published : Stoke On Trent, UK
Working With Academic Literacies: Case Studies Towards Transformative Practice (2016-10)
Lillis, Theresa; Harrington, Kathy; Lea, Mary and Mitchell, Sally eds.
Perspectives on writing
ISBN : 9781602357624 | Publisher : The WAC Clearinghouse/Parlor Press | Published : Fort Collins, Colorado
The Politics of Language and Creativity in a Globalised World (2016)
Hann, David and Lillis, Theresa eds.
ISBN : 9781473003743 | Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes
Applied linguistics methods: A reader (2009-08)
Coffin, C.; Lillis, T. and O'Halloran, K. eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-54545-7 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
Why Writing Matters: Issues of access and identity in writing research and pedagogy (2009)
Carter, Awena; Lillis, Theresa and Parker, Sue eds.
Studies in Written Language and Literacy
ISBN : 9789027218070 | Publisher : John Benjamins Publishing Company | Published : Amsterdam, Netherlands
Re-designing English (2007)
Goodman, Sharon; Graddol, David and Lillis, Theresa eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-37689-1 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
Writing in contemporary social work: texts, technologies and trajectories (2017-09-01)
Lillis, Theresa; Leedham, Maria and Twiner, Alison
In : BAAL2017: British Association for Applied Linguistics Conference (31 Aug - 02 Sep 2017, University of Leeds, UK)
Combining ethnography and corpus to research writing practices in social work: challenges and opportunities in methodology, epistemology and application (2016-11)
Lillis, Theresa; Leedham, Maria and Twiner, Alison
In : ALAPP 2016 (Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice Conference) (3-5 Nov 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark)
‘If it’s not written down it didn’t happen’: Social worker perspectives on contemporary writing and recording demands (2016-07)
Lillis, T.; Leedham, M.; Twiner, A.; Moore, J. and Whitehead, M.
In : Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference (JSWEC) 2016 (15th July 2016, Milton Keynes)
The impact of global English on local knowledge production psychology in four national contexts (2008)
Lillis, Theresa; Hewings, Ann and Curry, Mary Jane
In : GlobEng: International Conference on Global English (14-16 Feb 2008, Polo Zanotto, University of Verona, Verona, Italy)

News

Improving wellbeing through digital games

Dr Hannah R. Marson, Research Fellow in the Health & Wellbeing Priority Research Area, and organiser of the upcoming Digital Health & Wellbeing Conference, was interviewed by eldercare.org to discuss how research using digital games and associated technologies has been investigated in the area of health and wellbeing. Read the full article: Technology and Gaming for the Elderly: Improving Wellbeing.

20th November 2017
See all

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