Loreto Aliaga Salas

Loreto Aliaga Salas



I am a teacher of English from Chile. I have taught in secondary schools, adult education, pre-service and in-service teacher education.

I obtained my English teaching degree at Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación in 2007. In 2011, I obtained my MA in TEFL at the same university.

My last employment was as an academic coordinator and language teacher in a pre-service English language teaching programme in Santiago. I was also involved in teaching and supporting in-service teachers in a secondary school.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a full-time student after working full time for a few years. I have taken advantage of many opportunities offered by the School of Education and the University. Since my first year, I have worked as a research assistant in various projects, e.g. REACH, Narnia Virtues, and CLARA (University of Oxford/ University of Chile).

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

After finishing my MA degree, I worked in pre-service teacher education at two different universities. I didn’t really have any knowledge to teach future teachers, and I felt the need to be better prepared to be a teacher educator.

The University of Leeds has a well-known background in supporting language teacher educators. My supervisors had well-established links with Chile, which helped developing and informing my research. Coming to Leeds has allowed me to learn about teacher education, not only in theoretical but also practical ways.

The facilities for teaching, learning, and researching at the School of Education and the University are outstanding. The School of Education offers individual computer desks for full-time PhD students with a locker, a desk drawer, and book shelves. The university has five comprehensive libraries, and access to a large number of journals and reports. You can also request books from other libraries, and access other UK university libraries through the Sconul access.

The university offers extensive support to conduct research in an ethical manner from day one, and offers wide and constructive feedback to early career researchers, from the supervisors and other training courses led by SDDU. 

What makes me passionate about my subject?

Being a teacher educator is a great responsibility, since the impact that one’s practices has on others is exponentially higher. I am passionate about my research area as I hope it will not only have an impact on the particular programme being researched but also having a deeper understanding of processes of educational change in similar contexts.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

I have recently passed my PhD viva. I would like to continue teaching in pre-service and in-service teacher education as well as supporting processes of innovation and change in English language teaching. I would like to work with and for in-service language teachers to promote teacher-led research to inform teacher education policies, and my own research and practice.

Similarly, I will continue to contribute to narrow the gap between research and teacher classroom practices. since I am a co-founder of the first Chilean network of researchers in English Language Teaching – ELT (RICELT – www.ricelt.cl). 


ALIAGA, L. (Forthcoming). Mentoring teachers: An Interview with Angi Malderez. In Bellaterra Journal of Languages. Barcelona: Spain.

ALIAGA, L. (2018). Teachers and students’ tales: living through change in teacher education (T. Pattison, Ed.). In IATEFL 2017 Glasgow conference selections (pp.61-62). Faversham: IATEFL.

ALIAGA, L. (2017). Using visual representations to reflect on research: Exploring innovative formats for research dissemination. ELT Research. February 2017(32), pp.15-17.

ALIAGA-SALAS, L. (2017). Teacher educators’ voices on undergraduate TEFL curriculum innovation in Chile (T. Pattison, Ed.). In IATEFL 2016 Birmingham conference selections (pp. 51-53). Faversham: IATEFL.

ALIAGA, L. (2015). Creencias y prácticas de formadores de profesores de inglés: Un estudio de caso en innovación curricular. in “Saberes para Chile. Memorias de la II Jornada Académica de Investigadores Chilenos en Europa”. (pp. 183-198) Madrid: Punto Rojo

ALIAGA, L., INOSTROZA, M.J., REBOLLEDO, P., ROMERO, G., and TABALI, P. (2015). RICELT: Creating a research community in Chilean ELT. ELT RESEARCH. January 2015(30), pp.34-35.

ALIAGA, L. (2014). Exploring English Language Teaching in Pre-service TEFL Education in Chile. In WAGEMANN, E., et.al. (Eds.), ChileGlobal Seminars UK (pp. 74-75). London: ChileGlobal Seminars UK.

ALIAGA. L. (2007) ¿Qué harías si...? Revista Acti/ España: Actividades para la clase de Español10, 52-53. Consejería de Educación y Cultura en el Reino Unido, Education and culture ministry, Spain. United Kingdom.


ORCID Number: 0000-0003-4128-4161

Research interests

My research explores teacher educators’ cognitions, i.e. ‘what language teachers think, know and believe, and of its relationship to teachers’ classroom practices’ (Borg 2015, p.1) in the context of curriculum change in a pre-service English language teaching programme in Chile.

In this context, my research considers all the actors involved in this change project: teacher educators, as enactors; programme staff, as initiators; and student teachers, as receivers, and future enablers of change. I observed teacher educators, and I interviewed staff, teacher educators and student teachers to understand the different perspectives of the project.

My overarching aim is to understand a broader view of the programme implementation by taking all the participants’ viewpoints into consideration to reflect on current stage of implementation. Additionally, I seek to inform the future directions of the programme and to advise any other teacher education programme contemplating curriculum change anywhere in the world.