Professor Brutt-Griffler brings more than 20 years of research, senior level administration, and university teaching in language education in the USA and internationally, including at the State University of New York (USA), the University of Vienna (Austria) and the University of York (UK). She served as an external evaluator for academic programs and universities in the Middle East, including in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She is the Academic Vice Dean of Education and Language Programs at the State University of New York, and she has served as the Head of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, and Director of the Research Center in Comparative and Global Education. In these roles, she has directed research teams, large scale projects and programs, developed academic curricula and mentored more than 20 faculty and 225 graduate students annually in research and teaching.
Professor Brutt-Griffler has published numerous books and peer-refereed articles in prestigious venues focusing on contemporary issues in English and multilingual education, literacy development among young learners, teacher and school leader professional development, policy development and dual-language programming to improve educational experiences among all students. Her books include World English: A Study of its Development (winner of an award from the Modern Language Association of the US), Bilingualism and Language Pedagogy, and English and Ethnicity. She is the editor of the International Journal of Applied Linguistics (Wiley-Blackwell).
Plenary speech title
Developing bilingual literacy among young learners in the area of global English: research and policy implications
Plenary speech abstract
The shift in the function of English as a medium of instruction (EMI) together with its use in knowledge construction and dissemination among scholars continues to fuel the global demand for high-level proficiency in the language. The ability of nations to produce multilinguals with advanced English proficiency alongside their mastery of other language(s) has become a key to global competitiveness. That need is helping to drive one of the greatest language learning experiments the world has even known. It carries significant implications for new research agendas and teacher preparation in applied linguistics across the K-20 continuum. This plenary will discuss this global trend and identify new research foci. I will argue that evidence-based decision making, whether it pertains to language policy, instructional practices, teacher professional development or curriculum building needs to be based on a rigorous program of research and assessment. The plenary will share research findings and pedagogical approaches from two large-scale studies that have focused on development of writing and literacy among young bilingual learners and dual language curricula. It introduces a new theoretical construct – multilingual proficiency – to underscore the knowledge that the learner develops in the process of language learning that constitutes the surest route to the desired high levels of language proficiency. I highlight the advantages of a student-centered approach that focuses on multilingual proficiency for teachers, underscores the key role of bilingual teachers, and draws out conclusions for teacher development and language policy.