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What is the Transliteracies Research Lab?


A group of emergent and established scholars who explore the intersections of linguistic and cultural diversity, literacy learning, and social and educational participation for youth and adults.

About the Lab


Led by Professor Rahat Zaidi and housed in the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education, the Transliteracies Research Lab explores the experiences of refugees, immigrants, newcomers, and Canadian settlers within schools, and urban and rural communities in Alberta, Canada.

Canada claims to be one of the countries with the highest number of refugee claims in the world. In 2022, Canada’s immigration offices have reached a historic number of newcomers which targeted accepting over 430,000 new permanent residents in the country. Recently, over 60,000 Syrian, nearly 40,000 Afghan, and approximately 150,000 Ukrainian refugees arrived in Canada, further supporting its humanitarian commitment.

As a diverse population is arriving and encountering other immigrants and Canadian settlers in schools and within their communities, the Transliteracies Research Lab identified the need to explore the dynamics of national and international mobility of youth and adults in the Canadian context. Through an interdisciplinary lens and a social justice agenda, the Lab researchers strive to understand the scope of multilingual and multimodal literacies in helping youths and adults to understand their sense of identity and belongingness; prepare them with skills and mindset to thrive socially, culturally, and economically; and develop strategies to dismantle racism, xenophobia, sexism, homo/transphobia, ageism, and any other discriminatory (and often hostile) beliefs and behaviours based on stereotypes, fear, and ignorance.

Our Interdisciplinary Approach