Martha Bigelow

bigelow2015I am a Professor of Second Languages and Cultures at Georgetown University. My areas of expertise are second language acquisition, schooling experiences of adolescent immigrant youth, preservice language teacher education and multicultural education.

My research interests span fields of education, applied linguistics, and cultural studies. While I have focused mainly on the language learning and schooling of adolescent refugees from East Africa, I am deeply invested in the schooling of all language learners as they learn in home, community and school settings. I am also interested in teacher education experiences and classroom pedagogies that support equity and access in education.

  • The multilingualism and multiliteracy of immigrant and refugee youth
  • The role of native and second language literacy in the acquisition of second language oral skills
  • The intersection of race, religion, gender and ethnicity among Somali youth
  • Somali youth’s experiences with racialization in school and community settings
  • The educational needs of adolescent English language learners with limited formal schooling
  • Making out-of-school connections to classroom learning for immigrant youth (funds of knowledge and culturally relevant pedagogy)
  • The role of education policies in access to education for adolescent immigrant youth with limited formal schooling