Multilingualism: Challenges and Opportunities in Education, Spring 2019

Course Number:
EDU 5515 C46

Adrienne Matunas

Two in-person sessions with the remainder of the course held in an online environment.

Dates and Times:
March 4 – May 3, 2019 with two in-person sessions on Saturday, April 6, 8am-4pm to attend Student Conference on Language Teaching and Learning in Colchester, VT (hosted by St. Michael’s College MA TESOL Program and Northern New England TESOL) and Saturday, April 27, 9am-3pm at Castleton University.

3 Graduate Credits


Course Description

Note: Course payment by check or purchase order, payable to Castleton University, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form and the purchase order can be uploaded to the registration form. If paying by check, please mail the check to: Financial & Registration Services, Castleton University, 62 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05753. To help us ensure that your payment is applied to the correct course, PLEASE WRITE “CFS” IN THE CHECK MEMO LINE. Thank you.

This course offers an introduction to the challenges and opportunities language diversity brings to K-12 and post-secondary education in Vermont, with a focus on the following topics:

  1. How have historical and sociopolitical factors shaped multilingualism, monolingualism, and language education in the U.S. and in Vermont?  What trends in multilingualism and multilingual education can we expect to see in the next few decades?
  2. What particular challenges do English language learners and other multilingual students face in the classroom?  How can schools support first- and second-language development and academic achievement for multilingual students?
  3. What assets do multilingual students bring to our classrooms and schools, and how can teachers and administrators tap into those assets to enrich the educational experience of all students?

 Audience: All educators

Course Goals & Objectives

Course Goals:

  1. To recognize the trends that shape multilingualism and language education for learners in your context
  2. To use language diversity to enrich the educational experience of monolingual and multilingual learners

 Course Objectives:

  1. Identify barriers to academic and social achievement faced by multilingual learners in your context
  2. Identify assets that multilingual learners bring to your context
  3. Develop a practical unit plan that taps into the assets multilingual learners bring and addresses the challenges they face

Course Expectations


  • Responses to readings/video material
  • Journal reflections on current and past interactions with language diversity
  • Discussions (Flipgrid)


  • Participants will create a unit plan to use in their own context (in the classroom or as a professional development session for other educators) that capitalizes on the assets of multilingual learners and addresses the challenges they face. They will share their plans during the in-person session on April 27.

Required Texts

Required Readings/Texts: None required to purchase.  PDF readings will be provided electronically.

Other Suggested Readings/Texts:

  • Edwards, John. Multilingualism: Understanding Language Diversity. Continuum, 2012. ISBN 978-1441126955.
  • Edwards, John. Multilingualism. Routledge, 1994. ISBN 978-0415120111.
  • Shapiro, Shawna, Farrelly, Raichle, and Curry, Mary Jane. Educating Refugee-Background Students. Multilingual Matters, 2018. ISBN 9781783099986.

For additional course information

Adrienne Matunas
(802) 468-1371

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!