While Coady has conducted much of her past multilingual research and outreach activities in rural migrant worker communities such as Immokalee in southwest Florida and several northcentral Florida communities, her research success and reputation has enabled her to broaden her scope to other states and even worldwide.
“My work preparing rural teachers in Florida for linguistic diversity intersects with similar efforts by scholars in Texas, Idaho, Nebraska, Ukraine and South Africa,” says Coady. “My scholarship moves between the local, national and international spheres because it is no longer feasible to remain distant from the realities of globalization when examining linguistic diversity in education.”
Coady has worked portions of the past six years on two international projects as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, helping Ukraine and then South Africa strengthen their multilingual education and literacy programs. She also has worked with teacher education in China and the Dominican Republic and has consulted with educational governments in Costa Rica and the United Arab Emirates. She’s working with teachers and schools in Ireland to help them revitalize the country’s endangered Gaelic language.
Coady’s Fien-funded study will involve several days of videotaped observation and a series of interviews with three school leaders known for their support of multilingual students—one leader each from Florida, South Africa and Ireland.
“This work will have a national grounding in Florida schools but will investigate leaders internationally by tapping into my existing networks in Ireland and South Africa.”
The Fien appointment also recognizes Coady’s commitment to teaching and mentoring doctoral students. She frequently includes Ph.D. students in her grant projects and prepares UF ESOL doctoral students to conduct cutting-edge research both nationally and internationally. She advises or serves on some 14 student dissertation committees.
“As a multilingual myself from an immigrant family, I remain fascinated by the learning advantages that multilingual students have, but they are frequently overlooked in educational settings,” Coady said. “Our students are the scholars of the future who will continue to address educational disparities based on language differences in our increasingly globalized world.”
SOURCE: Maria Coady, Ph.D., associate professor, UF College of Education; firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry Lansford, news & communications manager, UF College of Education; email@example.com