Cross-National, Multi-Language Professional Development Experiences:
Challenges and Success Stories from Teachers of Adult Immigrants
Center for Applied Linguistics
For more information on the EU-Speak project that Dr. Peyton will be discussing, including details on how to get involved, please view this flyer.
The number of adults with limited
education and literacy is decreasing worldwide (UNESCO
Institute for Statistics, 2016), but their rate of immigration to the United
States and many other countries is increasing significantly. In their new
homes, many of these new arrivals face significant challenges in moving from a
basic to an intermediate level of oral proficiency and in acquiring
literacy skills in a language that they do not yet speak proficiently.
Meanwhile, teachers are strongly motivated to improve their
abilities to work successfully with these learners (Young-Scholten, Peyton,
Sosinski, & Manjón Cabeza, 2015), and research demonstrates that they make
more progress when taught by qualified teachers (Condelli, Cronen, Bos, Tseng, & Altuna, 2010).
However, in most countries, no specific training exists, and no
specific teaching qualifications are required to work with these learners. Even
teachers who have years of experience with teaching adults and young children
to read often have not had training focused specifically on the backgrounds and
needs of these learners. In many programs, volunteers work with this
This presentation describes a set of cross-national,
multi-language online modules (courses) on six critical topics that the
EU-Speak-3 project is designing for teachers around the world who work with
adult immigrants with limited education and literacy in their home languages.
The modules focus on understanding the
characteristics and strengths of these learners and the challenges they face.
They also focus on applied topics such as how to teach and assess morphosyntax,
vocabulary, and reading; and how to teach language and literacy in their social
contexts. The modules involve English-speaking teachers from the US, Canada,
the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, and multilingual versions are available in
Finnish, German, Spanish, and Turkish, supported by mentors who speak the
After a brief
discussion of the learner population and the needs of teachers, volunteers, and
administrators working with them, I will describe the challenges involved in
conducting this type of professional development, some success stories from the
teachers who have participated, the outcomes of the modules to date, and ways
that conference participants can join the modules themselves.
Condelli, L., Cronen, S.,
Bos, J., Tseng, F., & Altuna, J. (2010). The impact of a
literacy intervention for low-educated adult ESL learners. Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Education, NCEE, Institute of Education Sciences.
for Statistics. (2016). Literacy data
release 2016. http://www.uis.unesco.org/literacy/Pages/literacy-data-release-2016.aspx
M., Peyton, J. K., Sosinski, M., & Manjón Cabeza, A.
M. (2015). LESLLA teachers’ views of the knowledge
and skills they need: An international study. In I. van de Craats, J.
Kurvers, & R. van Hout (Eds.), Adult
literacy, second language, and cognition. LESLLA Proceedings 2014. Nijmegen, Netherlands: Centre
for Language Studies.
BIOJoy Kreeft Peyton is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Applied Linguistics, in Washington, DC, where she served as Vice President for 16 years. She holds a Ph.D. in sociolinguistics from Georgetown University. She has over 35 years of experience working in the field of languages, linguistics, and culture in education. Her work includes working with teachers and program leaders in K-12 and adult education settings in the United States and other countries (including Ethiopia and Nepal) to improve their instructional practice and study the implementation and outcomes of research-based practice. Her work includes implementing and studying approaches to writing that facilitate engagement and learning and promote academic and professional success. She is a Senior Advisor for the EU-SPEAK project (Newcastle University), whose mission is to enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers of adult immigrants who have limited education and literacy in their native language.
Towards a Translingually Responsive Pedagogy:Implications for Teacher Education, Practice, and Research
Academic English Language Program, Montgomery College
in TESOL has been emerging as a new paradigm (Canagarajah, 2012; 2013;
Pennycook, 2008), and the advances that are being made in theorizing about
translingualism need to be supplemented with discussions about translingual
practices and pedagogies (Jain, 2014). Translingualism refers to the speaker’s
capacity for using English contextually and creatively in relation to the other
codes in society and their personal repertoires (Canagarajah, 2013). In turn,
both translingual students and teachers undergo the cognitively complex process
of developing proficiency in more than one language, and this experience of
traversing languages creates new understandings and processes, and supports
conceptual fluency (Motha, Jain, & Tecle, 2012).
response to emerging conceptualizations around translingualism and translingual
identities, all TESOL practitioners could benefit greatly by preparing
themselves to teach from translingual and acculturation perspectives that
enable learners to acquire new competencies while retaining and building upon
existing language(s) and culture(s), versus an assimilationist ‘English only’
perspective that inadvertently devalues the linguistic and cultural resources
that language learners bring into the classroom. Fostering awareness about
translingual and transcultural identities would also help increase teacher
candidates’ own global competence and ability to teach effectively across
languages and cultures. All of these elements and more comprise my
conceptualization of a translingually responsive pedagogy.
my talk, therefore, I will emphasize the need for language teachers and teacher
educators to pursue pedagogy that is responsive to the translingual realities
that operate in and outside English language classrooms -- a translingually
responsive pedagogy that acknowledges and validates the Englishes and
translinguistic identities present in their classrooms and deeply problematizes
‘English only’ attitudes.
will also bring in practical and theoretical insights from my own practitioner
work and provide questions to facilitate critical thinking. I thus hope to
present ideas and practices related to translingually responsive pedagogy that
teachers and teacher educators can transfer to their own pedagogy and
Canagarajah, A. S. (2012). Toward a rhetoric of translingual writing. The Working Papers Series on Negotiating
Differences in Language and Literacy. University of Louisville.
Canagarajah, A. S. (2013). Translingual
practice: Global Englishes and cosmopolitan relations (1st ed.).
New York, NY: Routledge.
Jain, R. (2014). Global Englishes, translingual practices, and
translinguistic identities in a community college ESL classroom: A practitioner
researcher reports. TESOL Journal, 5(3).
Motha, S., Jain, R., & Tecle, T. (2012). Translinguistic identity-as-pedagogy:
Implications for Ttacher education. International
Journal of Innovation in English Language Teaching and Research, 1(1).
Pennycook, A. (2008). Translingual English. In F. Sharifian & M.
Clyne (Eds.), Australian Review of
Applied Linguistics, 31, 30.31-30.39. International Forum on English as an
Dr. Rashi Jain is originally from India, where she completed her
undergraduate studies in English literature as well as German as a foreign
language. Rashi moved to the U.S. in 2004 to pursue first a master's and
then a doctoral degree in education, specializing in TESOL, at the
University of Maryland, College Park. After successfully completing her
Ph.D. studies with a dissertation that focused on practitioner research in
a community college setting, Rashi handled instructional and administrative assignments
at her alma mater, before transitioning to a full time faculty position at
INTO Mason, at George Mason University. During these years, Rashi also taught
as an adjunct in Montgomery College's WD&CE ESL program. Rashi has
recently joined Montgomery College as an Assistant Professor at AELP's
A global citizen who lives across nations, languages, and
cultures, Rashi believes that it is crucial for students and educators to
acquire intercultural and translingual competence to successfully navigate
complex 21st-century realities. As part of her professional endeavors, Rashi
has been exploring the rich field of practitioner research and inquiry, and has
also published and presented extensively on teaching cross-cultural
communication in university courses, teacher identity and pedagogy, World
Englishes and translingualism, and Non-native English Speaking Teacher (NNEST)
issues. Rashi has been both a practitioner and an academic in her diverse roles
as teacher, teacher educator, writer/editor, researcher, and administrator over
almost two decades in various higher education settings. As such, Rashi defines
herself as a ‘pracademic’—someone who works at the intersection of practitioner
and academic communities—a role that truly reflects current global realities
where the boundaries between different professional communities are becoming