SFU English Welcomes Alys D. Avalos-Rivera as its new Continuing Lecturer

July 29, 2021

The Department of English welcomed continuing lecturer Alys D. Avalos-Rivera to its faculty on July 15th, 2021. Beginning this fall, Dr. Avalos-Rivera will be teaching academic writing to first-year students, while she will teach discourse- and genre-related topics to students in her upper-division courses.

Before coming to Simon Fraser University, Avalos-Rivera taught at the University of British Columbia’s Vantage College, which helps academically outstanding international students improve their English.

English also was not Avalos-Rivera’s first language, but it was through her study of it that she became interested in it as a future career.

“Like many other people who come from a different culture, when you embark on learning a second language, at some point in that experience you decide you like it so much that you really want to go on and work with it and teach others what you have learned,” she says.

While she was completing her PhD, Avalos-Rivera focused on the teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and the relationship between language and identity—how the languages you speak impact your identity.

“I looked at the process of professional identities that develop when a person teaches a language that is not their first language,” she says.

SFU students interested in taking a class with Avalos-Rivera this fall should check out ENGL 114W, Language and Purpose. During the class, students will be asked to think about what the writer or the speaker wants to communicate when addressing a specific audience or group of people. They should examine the language choices that they make in certain contexts to achieve effective communication.