Multilingualism Research Forum/ Flerspråklighetsforum: Engaged Collaboration for Multilingual Student Learning

Dr. Maria Coady (Professor, University of Florida) will discuss engaged collaboration for multilingual student learning.

Register here for the public lecture

Maria Coady smiling and wearing a white top
Dr. Maria Coady


Multilingualism is neither a new nor recent phenomenon worldwide. However, educational systems and the preparation of educators to support multilingual (ML) students have neither kept pace with demographic shifts nor revealed more nuanced ways to ensure equitable education for ML students. Problematic is that access to well-prepared educators and high-quality language education programs remains irregular across varied school settings. This presentation describes a three-year educator professional development (PD) project with 22 rural educators. Using a framework of relational trust (Bryk & Schneider, 2002) and critical dialogue (Freire, 1970), the data collected (participant coursework, focus groups, surveys, and on-site observations) revealed how relationships among participants emerged over the PD and how this extended beyond the educators. Data also show that ML student learning was predicated upon strong educator collaboration, how educators thought about their rural ML students, and how they made changes to their practices for rural ML students. The presentation ends with a discussion and implications for engaged collaboration in and beyond schools.


Bryk, A. S., & Schneider, B. (2003). Trust in schools: A core resource for school reform. Educational leadership, 60(6), 40-45.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Continuum.


Dr. Maria Coady is Professor of ESOL and Bilingual Education at the University of Florida. She received her doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she studied bilingualism and bilingual education. Her dissertation examined Irish-English bilingual schools, Gaelscoileanna, in the Republic of Ireland. Using a lens of equity, Dr. Coady examines multilingualism, bilingual education, place-based teacher education, and language policies. Dr. Coady prepares both in- and pre-service teachers to work with ML students in the US and worldwide. She has prepared educators in countries such as Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, China, Ireland, and South Africa. Her new books include The Coral Way Bilingual Program (2020), Connecting School and the Multilingual Home: Theory and Practice for Rural Educators (2019), Why TESOL (5th ed., 2018, with E. W. Ariza), and Early Language Learning Policies in the 21st Century (Ed., with S. Zein, 2021). Her forthcoming book (2022) is titled Teaching, Learning, and Leading for Rural Multilingual Students (with P. Golombek and N. Marichal). Dr. Coady serves as an expert consultant with the US Department of Justice and Office of Civil Rights on matters related to ML student language and literacy development. She is currently on assignment (2021-22) as Distinguished Chair in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, with the US Fulbright Commission.

Published Mar. 3, 2022 8:53 AM - Last modified Apr. 4, 2022 7:22 PM