I want students to focus education language research in three distinct ways. We first explore the linguistic resourcefulness of literary discourse, with illustrations from poetry, prose and drama, as a valuable nexus to explore graphology, phonology, morphology and semantics. Second, based on a systemic functional linguistics perspective (SFL), we explore how language provides us with a pliable set of resources for use in different social and academic contexts. Based on this perspective, for example, we see how the patterned variations in vernacular English (e.g., AAVE and code switching) need to be validated in classroom discourse. Third, we explore how educational linguistics can assist in designing, implementing and reflecting on the literacy development of students in a variety of academic registers and contexts.
Over the past decade, my research, teaching and service have focused on exploring how best to support the literacy and language development of emergent bilingual learners in K-12 classrooms, especially in the current climate of high stakes school reform and anti-immigration discourses. Since arrival at the University of Georgia, I have published and developed courses in three overlapping areas that relate to this focus: systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and SFL-informed genre pedagogy, critical performative pedagogy (CPP) in multicultural teacher education and K-12 education contexts and critical discourse analysis (CDA). I have used these approaches as tools to research and challenge social inequity in schools.