Kathryn Accurso

Dr. Kathryn Accurso

Associate Professor of Teaching

she / her / hers

Research and teaching areas:

Bilingual/multilingual education

Critical literacies/pedagogies

Decolonizing pedagogies and knowledges

Discourse Analysis

English as an additional language

Language Ideologies

Literacy education

Systemic Functional Linguistics


Kathryn is an applied linguist and former English teacher now working in teacher education. Her scholarship focuses on literacy, equity, and teacher education, particularly how to support K-12 teachers in developing beliefs, knowledge, and practices for teaching disciplinary literacies to multilingual students in the face of structural inequities.

Prior to joining the faculty of education at UBC, Kathryn worked at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC and in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Mount Holyoke College where she co-founded the initial licensure program for teachers of English learners.

She has earned awards from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and The International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF), in addition to being published in numerous books and journals for teachers, teacher educators, and second language and literacy researchers (e.g., Journal of English for Academic Purposes, TESOL Journal, International Journal of Mathematics Teaching and Learning, and practitioner-oriented journals MATSOL Currents and SPELT Quarterly).


Understanding Pre-Service Teachers’ Practicum Experiences in the Context of COVID-19 Current


Qualitative study of US/Canadian teacher candidates mobilizing their developing knowledge to support multilingual learners online.

Preparing K-12 Teachers to Support English Language Learners in the Content Areas Current


A longitudinal mixed method study of pre-service teacher development of beliefs and knowledge for teaching English language learners.

Multiliteracies Instruction in the Middle Grades Completed

2018 – 2019

Qualitative study of pre-service teacher development for designing and delivering multiliteracies curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Translingual Literacy Development Completed

2015 – 2019

A mixed method study of multilingualism in high schools and the use of multilingual/ multimodal resources to support SLIFE refugee students’ disciplinary literacy development.

Analyzing Efforts to Improve Academic Literacy Practice Completed

2012 – 2014

A mixed method study of development and impact in a U.S. teacher education program.

Awards & Honours

NASFLA Promising Scholar Award (North American Systemic Functional Linguistics Association), 2021

TESOL Ruth Crymes Academies Fellowship, 2020

Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowship, 2019

AERA Student Vocabulary Research Paper of the Year Award, 2018

International Research Foundation for English Language Education Doctoral Dissertation Grant, 2017

Engage, Connect, Serve, Achieve Grant (UMass Office of Student Affairs), 2014

McCarthy Service Grant (UMass Graduate School), 2014

Selected Publications

Accurso, K., & Levasseur, J. (2022)
Building science teacher disciplinary linguistic knowledge with SFL. In L. H. Seah, R. Silver, & M. Baildon (Eds.), The role of language in content pedagogy: A framework for teachers’ knowledge (pp. 87-114). Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-19-5351-4_5
Accurso, K. (2022)
Pre-service science teachers’ written feedback practices following preparation for “sheltered” instruction. In M. Christison, J. Crandall, & D. Christian (Eds.) Global research on teaching and learning English: Integrating content and language instruction (pp. 126–143). New York: Routledge. DOI:10.4324/9781003181859-10
Shank Lauwo, M., Accurso, K., & Rajagopal, H. (2022).
Plurilingualism, equity, and preservice teacher identity: Centring (linguistic) diversity in teacher education. TESL Canada Journal, 38(2), 114–139. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v38i2.1359
Accurso, K., Gebhard, M., Harris, G., & Schuetz, J. (2021)
Implications of genre pedagogy for refugee youth with limited or interrupted formal education. In D. Warriner (Ed.), Refugee education across the lifespan: Mapping experiences of language learning and language use (pp. 57–78). New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-79470-5_4
Accurso, K., & Gebhard, M. (2021)
SFL praxis in U.S. teacher education: A critical literature review. Language and Education, 35(5), 402–428. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2020.1781880
Liaw, M., & Accurso, K. (2021)
Design and opportunity in critical multilingual/multimodal composing pedagogy. In D. Shin, T. Cimasko, & Y. Yi (Eds.), Multimodal writing in teaching and learning contexts: Multilingual perspectives (pp. 89–108). New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-16-0530-7_6
Accurso, K., & Mizell, J. (2020)
Toward an anti-racist genre pedagogy: Considerations for a North American context. TESOL Journal Special Issue: Exploring the transformative potential of English language teaching for social justice. DOI: 10.1002/tesj.554
Gebhard, M., & Accurso, K. (2020)
Systemic functional linguistics. In C. Chapelle (Ed.), The Concise Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (pp. 1029–1037). New York: Wiley.
Accurso, K. (2020)
Bringing a social semiotic perspective to secondary teacher education in the United States. Journal of English for Academic Purposes Special Issue: Halliday’s Influence on EAP Practice.
Accurso, K., & Muzeta, B. (2020)
Can monolingual language teachers be effective? TESOL Connections, May 2020, 1–5.
Gebhard, M., Accurso, K., & Chen, I. (2019)
Paradigm shifts in the teaching of grammar in K-12 ESL/EFL contexts: A case for a social-semiotic perspective. In L. C. de Oliveira (Ed.), Handbook of TESOL in K-12 (pp. 249–263). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119421702.ch16
Gebhard, M., Accurso, K., & Harris, G. (2019)
Putting it all together: SFL in action. In M. Gebhard, Teaching and researching ELLs’ disciplinary literacies: Systemic functional linguistics in action in the context of U.S. school reform (pp. 239–271). New York: Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9781315108391-9
Accurso, K., Lopez Rodriguez, S., & Lopez, A. (2019)
Challenging deficit perspectives of multilingual learners in everyday talk. MATSOL Currents, 42(1), 39–42.
Accurso, K., Muzeta, B., & Pérez Battles, S. (2019)
Reflection multiliteracies: Teaching meaning making across the visual and language arts. SPELT Quarterly Journal, 34(2), 2–16. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.17060.53121
Muzeta, B., Accurso, K., & Liaw, M. (2018)
Accurso, K., Gebhard, M., & Purington, S. (2017)
Accurso, K. (2017)
Exploiting the language of science: Teaching informational texts across grade levels. SPELT Quarterly Journal, 32(4), 2–16.
Accurso, K., Gebhard, M. & Selden, C. (2016)
Supporting L2 elementary science writing with SFL in an age of school reform. In L. C. de Oliveira & T. Silva (Eds.), Second language writing in elementary classrooms: Instructional issues, content-area writing and teacher education (pp. 126–150). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137530981_8
Accurso, K. (2015)
Language dominance/linguistic dominance. In S. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of diversity and social justice (pp. 656–657). New York: Rowman & Littlefield.