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Language, Literacy, and Culture

The Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) program centers on promoting equity and honoring socio-cultural and linguistic diversity; transforming schools and other educational spaces; supporting teachers as learners; and fostering promising social futures for all youth.

To accomplish these aims, we focus on the most fundamental human tool and resource: language. We also consider other pivotal ways that humans learn, communicate, and create through a variety of symbolic systems: from visual images to movements, and most frequently assembling multimodal compositions.

In our increasingly digital world, it is necessary to explore how these symbol systems often work in combination as we create and communicate. Through these lenses, we investigate such issues as:

equity across race, ethnicity, gender, and social class

youth culture;

migration and immigration;

globalization; and

home, school, and community interactions.

Interweaving theory and practice, we explore deeply how these issues impact learning and language development, teaching and teacher education, and school and public policy.

Focus of Study

The theoretical stance of the LLC Ph.D. program is socio-cultural, in that we situate language and literacy within educational institutions. Our theoretical stance is also critical in that we emphasize the transformative functions of language and literacy, keeping in constant view their potential to effect social change and create more inclusive, democratic societies. Students develop a thorough understanding of the theoretical and research literature underlying this stance and its implications for teaching and learning. Our Ph.D. program promotes research in a range of contexts, in and out of school, nationally and internationally, and across the age range. Students will develop expertise in one or more of the following areas: literacy studies (specialties in reading, writing, multi-modality); teacher education, (specialties in elementary language arts, secondary English education, bilingual and first and second language education); educational linguistics, (specialties in bilingualism and second language learning, acquisition of academic language, and language socialization); and issues of urban education. As a basis for their research, students learn to use a variety of research methods that involve the analysis of language and other symbol systems; these methods are both qualitative and quantitative.

Program Structure

Components of the PhD program in Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC)

1. The one core course in LLC is usually taken in the first year of doctoral study: 240B Theoretical Issues in the Study of Literacy.

2. LLC students are required to take two qualitative methods courses. We recommend those be taken in the second year of study. Included in the list are:

241D Perspectives on Classroom Discourse
241B, Language Socialization
250A, Qualitative Research in Lang/Lit Education
240C, Discourse Analysis
252B, Ethnography of Reading

LLC students are also required to take one quantitative course:

293 A & L, Data Analysis in Education Research
 

3. Also, students often take additional LLC special topics courses that are taught on a regular basis by LLC faculty. Some of these have "regular" course numbers, but others fall under the Special Topics (290B) category in the schedule of classes for any given semester.

4. Students often find it helpful to take additional courses in research methodology - either quantitative or qualitative - depending upon area of interest. Students decide on additional courses in consultation with their faculty advisers.

5. Additionally, doctoral students are expected to complete at least two courses outside the School of Education. These courses may be either graduate level or upper division undergraduate courses.

Entrance Requirements

No specific requirements. For information about admissions into the Graduate School of Education, please see the Admissions webpage.

Type of Program (M.A./Ph.D.)

This program offers a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture.

The Master of Arts degree is for students wishing to explore the various areas of specialization within LLC. Students take courses that cover the basic concepts and theories in language and literacy education as well as courses for their area of specialization. The M.A. degree includes a number of specializations, among them reading, writing, literature, education of language minority students, urban education, and Cultural Studies of Sport in Education.

Graduates

LLC graduates pursue a wide range of career paths, including university or college research and teaching, instruction and leadership in teacher professional development, research and design for literacy initiatives in private as well as governmental organizations.