The Foundations of Academic Literacy course is led by Dr. Steve Marshall, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University.

Dr. Steve Marshall

Course Supervisor 

Steve is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education. He has been teaching FAL X99 since 2006. Steve researches academic literacy and plurilingualism across the disciplines in higher education. Steve is the author of Academic Writing: Making the Transition (Pearson Canada, 2012) and Advance in Academic Writing (Pearson ELT, 2017).

Robert Manery

Course Coordinator

Rob has taught FAL since its inception in 2006. Previously, he taught English at a private school in Vancouver. Rob's research focuses on the intersection of moral education, epistemology, and the English Language Arts curriculum. His work investigates concepts of open-mindedness, intellectual humility, difficulty, and the limits of understanding within an exploration of literature and literary instruction.

Dr. Susan Barber


Susan is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education. Her research focuses on teaching and learning through narrative, creative writing and literacy. She has explored the impact of artful instructional videos on teacher development; on Indigenous students who seek identities at university on their own terms; and English Language Learners as they deepen their foundational academic literacy, critical thinking skills and expression as global citizens. Currently, Susan is investigating how educators can assist new refugees in resettlement in Canada. Art is a universal language that facilitates communication in the early stages, especially important for those who are pre-literate in their own language(s) or have experienced trauma, and may return them to a sense of belonging and wellbeing in their new communities.

Daniel Dunford


Daniel is a Limited Term Lecturer with FAL and designs and delivers writing workshops for the Professional Development Program in the Faculty of Education. He has a M.A. in English with a concentration in writing, rhetoric, and linguistic pragmatics. Daniel taught writing and rhetoric courses for the English Department at SFU for 13 years and has taught Foundations of Academic Literacy for the last 5 years. As a writing consultant in SFU’s Writing Centre (from 1997-2001), Daniel worked with hundreds of students from across the disciplines at all levels of language fluency. He loves teaching and delights in helping students understand the context-dependency of language.

Ismaeil Fazel


Ismaeil holds a PhD in TESL from the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC. He has also earned a sub-specialization in Measurement, Evaluation, and Research Methodology from the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at UBC. Ismaeil has taught courses in academic writing, assessment, applied linguistics, and research methodology. Chief among his research interests are English for Specific/Academic Purposes (ESP/EAP), academic writing, academic discourse socialization, and assessment. He aspires to promote research-based pedagogical practices and practice-based research that address real-life issues in education.

Dr. Joel Heng Hartse


Joel is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and a second language writing specialist. He teaches subjects in writing, applied linguistics, and education. Joel's research interests include the interface between the globalization of English and internationalization of higher education, language variation in academic writing and publishing, and the role of student/instructor language ideology and metalinguistic knowledge in university writing pedagogy.

Dr. Jan Maclean


Jan is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education. Her research areas include art and literacy, inclusive education, and art and social change. Jan has developed a range of projects and programmes in school and community settings that focus on utilizing the arts as a tool for whole inclusion of students with diverse needs and abilities. Her current research focuses on investigating the ways that emerging and traditional technologies can be utilized to develop and deepen aesthetic awareness and create stronger connection with nature and our communities.

Shaila Shams

Teaching Assistant

Shaila Shams has taught FAL as an instructor and is currently a Teaching Assistant for the course. She has an MA in Applied Linguistics with TESOL from the University of Sheffield, UK. She has taught English at university level in Bangladesh for more than six years. She is currently a PhD student in the Languages, Cultures and Literacies programme at the Faculty of Education at SFU. Her research interests include the trajectory of language and identity development and classroom language teaching practices.