Dr Loreto Aliaga Salas

Dr Loreto Aliaga Salas


I have been involved in teaching English as a foreign language since 2004. I have worked as an English language teacher in secondary schools, adult colleges and language schools, and in higher education in both Chile and the UK. I have worked in language teacher education in both Chile and the UK since 2009. Before joining the School of Education, I taught in the General English programme at the School of Languages and Cultures, and I was a teacher assistant at the School of Education.

Research interests

I am mainly interested in language teacher education and language teacher research. My PhD explored teacher educators’ cognitions, in the context of curriculum change in a pre-service English language teaching programme in Chile, considering 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. My study demonstrates that complex curriculum change takes time and resources. In this case, despite being well intended, the speed of the change, the lack of forward planning, and existing models to refer to, have limited the programme achievements. Findings suggest that changes in teacher education require a close connection with the school contexts to gauge the feasibility of the innovation in reality, to inform teacher educators and student teachers to teach and learn in mainly unchanged educational contexts.

My research focuses on the understanding of the concept of (curriculum) change in secondary schools, where pupils are initiators of change. Based on students' voices and change projects, I discuss the importance of giving pupils an active voice in their school communities, giving them the space to have a say in the school decision-making, whenever possible. 

I have recently researched the microteaching dimension of a postgraduate TESOL programme, which intends to integrate theory and teaching practice applied in the student-teachers’ context. Based on student-teachers’ voices, my research discusses the role of microteachings in their future teaching careers, and offers suggestions for teacher education programmes to enhance the microteaching provision, reflection and meaning for student teachers.

I have recently finished a small-research on English as Medium of Instruction in the Latin American context. 

I am the co-founder of RICELT, the Network of Chilean research in ELT, and I am IATEFL's Research SIG Pre-conference digital manager. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Education (University of Leeds, UK)
  • MA TEFL (Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la EducaciĆ³n, Chile)
  • Teacher of English (Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la EducaciĆ³n, Chile)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Professional memberships

  • IATEFL: International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language
  • BAAL: British Association of Applied Linguistics
  • RICELT: Network of Chilean Research in ELT

Student education

I teach TESOL and education modules on undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

I am a academic personal tutor, and I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate taught students in the area of TESOL and Education. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Language Education
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>