Marlon Valencia

Associate Professor, ESL Director, Certificate in the Discipline of Teaching English as an International Language Coordinator, and Special Coordinator for Mobility Initiatives


Marlon was born and raised in Cali, Colombia, where he got his language teaching degree from Universidad del Valle in 2004. Soon after completing his teacher education program, he was awarded a visiting professorship at Spokane Falls Community College in Washington State. This experience stimulated his interest in the varied cultural traditions of Spanish speaking countries and their rich literary contributions. Marlon taught Spanish for two years at Washington State University, where he did his M.A. in Foreign Languages and Cultures. After finishing this degree, Marlon and his wife came to Toronto in 2008. In Toronto, Marlon completed his M.A. in Applied Linguistics at York University and his doctoral studies in Language and Literacies Education at the University of Toronto.

Marlon was a lecturer at Ryerson University where he taught a course titled Language and identity for several years. More recently he was a Professor of ESL at Sheridan College, where he also served as student advisor and acting coordinator

Marlon and his wife are raising two plurilingual children so their family interactions happen in English, French, and Spanish.

Last, but not least, Marlon is passionate about photography. You can see some of his photographs on Instagram.

Marlon's research interests include: multiliteracies, visual ethnography, language policy, experiential learning; as well as the intersection between creativity, imagination and teachers’ or language learners’ identities.

-Licenciado en Lenguas Modernas (B.A. + B.Ed.)-  Universidad del Valle, Colombia (2004)

-M.A. in Foreign Languages and Cultures, Washington State University (2008)

-M.A. in Applied Linguistics, York University (2009)

-Ph.D. in Language and Literacies Education, OISE, University of Toronto (2017)

-Collaborative Program (Ph.D.) in Comparative International and Development Education, OISE, University of Toronto (2017)

-ESL instructor, TESL Canada

-Theory and Methodology Trainer, TESL Ontario

The Interdisciplinary Flow Initiative

This collaborative study titled The Interdisciplinary Flow Initiative (IFI) involves Dr. Joel Lopata, and Professor Alireza Sobhanmanesh from Sheridan College. The IFI aims to gain a better understanding of the characteristics that make classroom activities more appealing to students while facilitating their genuine investment in learning, as understood by the concept of flow. Flow is a state of high focus when working on something. People in flow report feeling effortless and they don’t notice time passing by. The IFI is a coordinated effort to advance our collective understanding of flow across fields, including in Creativity Studies, Applied Linguistics, and Higher Education.

Visual Ethnography and Digital Literacies in Language Teaching and Learning

The current pandemic has pushed learners and educators to rethink the various ways in which teaching and learning can be provided through remote delivery and virtual spaces. Therefore, Dr. Valencia is currently exploring how photography, video, and digital literacies can facilitate experiential teaching and learning in both language instruction and language teacher education.

Journal Articles

Valencia, M., & Herath, S. (2015). Multimodal identity texts as mediational spaces in researching Ph.D. students’ critical teacher-researcher Selves. Intercultural Education         26(6), 547-561. DOI: 10.1080/14675986.2015.1109779

Valencia, M. (2013). Manufacturing Consent for Neoliberal Education Reform through Language Policy in Colombia. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development        15(1), 27-43.

Book Chapters

Valencia, M. Tejada, I. (forthcoming). Colombia’s language politics: Neoliberalism under the guise of messianic nationalism. In K. McIntosh (Ed), Applied Linguistics and          Language Teaching in the Neonationalist Era. London, UK: Palgrave McMillan.

Valencia, M., Gagné, A. Herath, S. (2020). Unpacking professional identity: The use of multimodal identity texts in language teacher education. In B. Yazan & K. Lindahl             (eds) Language Teacher Identity in TESOL: Teacher Education and Practice as Identity Work. Abingdon, UK: Routledge

Gagné, A., Herath, S., & Valencia, M. (2018). Exploring privilege and marginalization in ELT: A trioethnography of three diverse educators. In B. Yazan, & N. Rudolph                   (eds.), Criticality, Teacher Identity, and (In)equity in ELT: Issues and Implications (pp. 237-256). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Gagné, A., Herath, S., & Valencia, M. (2017). Autobiographical creation: A powerful professional development strategy for teachers (pp. 117-130). In J. Cummings, & M.             Blatherwick (Eds.), Creative Practices in Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers

Gagné, A., Herath, S., & Valencia, M. (2017). Strategies to Engage and Transform Teacher Learners in an Online Course (pp. 331-344). In J. Cummings, & M. Blatherwick           (Eds.), Creative Practices in Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers

Herath, S. & Valencia, M. (2015). Neither “a Complete Insider” Nor “a Complete Outsider”: Autoethnographies of Two Teacher-educators-in-the-making (pp. 86-101). In           Y.L Cheung, S. Ben Said, & K. Park (Eds.), Advances and Current Trends in Language Teacher Identity Research. London: Routledge.

 Gagné, A., & Valencia, M. (2014). Developing Teacher Candidates’ Target Language Proficiency: Challenges and Opportunities in a Supportive Institutional and Policy               Environment. In S. Ben Said and L. J. Zhang (Eds.), Language Perspectives, Local Initiatives (p.p 26-42). Routledge: London.

-Manuscript reviewer, TESOL Quarterly 

-Manuscript reviewer, TESL Canada Journal

-Manuscript reviewer,  Íkala: Revista de lenguaje y cultura, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

-Manuscript reviewer, Revista lenguaje, Universidad del Valle, Colombia

-Conference abstract reviewer, American Association for Applied Linguistics

-Conference abstract reviewer, Asociación colombiana de profesores de inglés (ASOCOPI).

-Senior Doctoral Fellow for the International Foundations Program at the University of Toronto’s New College in 2016-2017

-Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities Growth Grant, Sheridan College