Language, Literacy and Culture (LLC) members are committed to increasing equitable learning experiences for learners from diverse populations from early childhood through adulthood in classrooms and communities. Our research is interdisciplinary, drawing from anthropology, linguistics, psychology, sociology, the arts, and other fields, in qualitative and quantitative studies that acknowledge the interdependence of oral, written, non-verbal, image-based, and digitally mediated communication, and the intersection of teaching and learning in schools, homes, and communities. Areas of faculty expertise include first and second language development and socialization, bilingualism, reading and reading disabilities, writing, youth literacies, and teacher education. We are concerned with fundamental connections among race, ethnicity, racism, linguicism, and the social construction of language and literacy as we examine structural and societal inequalities in schools and communities and question monoglossic approaches to language and bilingualism.
LLC students are prepared to study language and literacy development as complex constructs influenced by schools, relationships with communities these schools serve, and systems which disconnect colonialism, race, and racism from language and literacy practices. Students receive mentoring on faculty research projects related to the language development of young children, reading and reading disabilities with diverse and multilingual learners, the preparation of teachers to serve linguistically diverse students, adolescent language repertoires and literacies, and the teaching and learning of writing in higher education contexts. Many of our PhD students help to prepare future teachers with assistantships and supervisory roles in our teacher credential program. Others support writing instruction in the University Writing Program or TA undergraduate courses related to language, literacy, and the schooling of diverse populations. In addition to the GGE core curriculum, LLC students take coursework from faculty in the School of Education, Linguistics, University Writing Program, and across campus.
The coursework for all LLC students should reflect an understanding of intersections across language, literacy, and culture. Some students will design a program of study that maintains an integrated approach to examining language, literacy, and culture throughout their studies; others use coursework to add a focused area of specialization, such as “reading and language development in bilinguals,” or “writing of diverse learners.” Particular programs of study are designed in consultation with LLC requirements and students’ advising team. The following are some examples of possible programs of study in LLC:
For a comprehensive list of courses that are often taken by LLC students, please see the LLC Course Offering List on the right-hand side.
LLC graduates hold positions such as tenure-track and clinical faculty at Research I universities; faculty at many state universities; research foundation project directors; and school district, county, and regional education leaders. Some LLC graduates include (as of Fall 2015):
Lisa H. Bennett, Assistant Professor, California State University, Fresno
Rebecca Callahan, Associate Professor, University of Texas, Austin
Cirilo Cortez, Director of Strategic Chicana/o and Latina/o Retention Initiatives, UC Davis
Luciana C. de Oliveira, Associate Professor, University of Miami
Betsy Gilliland, Assistant Professor, University of Hawaii, Manoa
M. Cecilia Gomez, Education Specialist, Center for Educational Effectiveness, UC Davis
Hogan Hayes, Assistant Professor, CSU Sacramento
Brenda Rinard, Lecturer, University Writing Program, University of California, Davis
Pamela L. Pan, Instructor, San Joaquin Delta College
Aparna Sinha, Assistant Professor, California State University Maritime Academy
Juliet M. Wahleithner, Assistant Professor, California State University, Fresno
Joanna W. Wong, Assistant Professor, California State University, Monterey Bay
Jennifer Higgs is an Assistant Professor of Learning and Mind Sciences and Language, Literacy, and Culture. Her research focuses on digital tool use that supports learning and teaching, adolescents’ digital literacies, and teacher education in the language arts. Using mixed methods and sociocultural theories of learning, Dr. Higgs investigates practices around digital tools as well as improvement of digital tool practices. What fundamentally drives her work is a desire to learn how the possibilities afforded by new cultural tools can support robust and socially just learning.
Graduate students in our PhD program may participate in a Designated Emphasis, a specialization that might include a new method of inquiry or an important field of application which is related to two or more existing PhD programs.
The curriculum of the Designated Emphasis is offered by a faculty organized in the manner of a Graduate Group.