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Who we are

We are educational researchers and teacher educators who share a mission to investigate the development of language and literacy practices that drive learning. 

Rooted in her experiences as a former middle school reading specialist, Phillips Galloway’s quantitative and qualitative research explores the relationships between school-relevant language development and language expression and comprehension during middle childhood with a particular focus on linguistically- and culturally-minoritized learners. Her quantitative studies demonstrate links between school-relevant language and reading and writing performances, revealing the importance of attending to language beyond the word-level in order to support the literacy development of middle school students. Phillips Galloway’s qualitative work situated in classrooms demonstrates the potential for developing these school-relevant language skills through talk that builds on students’ out-of-school language resources (dialectal and additional languages) and that fosters agency in linguistic choice-making. With the goal of advancing anti-racist pedagogy, her work aims to positions school-relevant language as a semiotic resource for critically examining inequality, envisioning change, fostering learner agency, and nurturing minoritized learners’ socioemotional, professional, and political aspirations. With a commitment to advancing research-practice partnerships, she has also worked with teachers, school leaders, and administrators in two of the largest urban districts in the United States. The fundamentals and lessons learned from this work are featured in a recent book entitled, Advanced Literacy Instruction in Linguistically Diverse Settings: A Guide for School Leaders (2016), co-authored with Nonie Lesaux and Sky Marietta. This book offers a blueprint for leading literacy instruction that supports all learners. Phillips Galloway’s work has been featured in the Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly, Applied Psycholinguistics and Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. She is a recipient of the AERA-SRCD Early Career Fellowship in Middle Childhood Education and Development (2019-2021). She holds an Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as an M.S.Ed. and B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

More information on Emily can be found here:

Dr. Emily Phillips Galloway
Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University, LLLE Director

Group Members 

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Rachel Siegman is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Diversity at Vanderbilt University. As a K-12 certified teacher, holding both multiple and single subject credentials (in English) and an EL authorization, Rachel has taught in a variety of capacities at the PreK-12 grade levels including elementary school in inner city Los Angeles, CA, high school English in Oakland, CA, and World History/Honors United States History in Richmond, CA. She obtained her credentials, Spanish concentration and Liberal Arts Education Bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University in California. Rachel’s MSc. in Comparative and International Education hails from The University of Oxford whereby her research focused on the public opinion of Syrian refugees and its role in public policy, opinion, and political action among European nations. Before joining Vanderbilt, Rachel established a high school Internship Program and Model United Nations team as well as taught English, International Studies, and Design Lab at Design Tech High School, in Redwood Shores, CA. As a former resident of Argentina and England, with teaching and school-community partnership experience in public and public charter schools, Rachel’s educational research interests include English language learners, equitable teaching practices, and multicultural education.  


More information on Rachel can be found here: 

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White, LLLE Alum

Dr. Holland White is a 2023 graduate in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Diversity at Vanderbilt University. Having taught for several years as a high school ELA teacher in a Texas public school that served a large population of language minoritized learners, she is currently interested in multlingual students' writing practices at the secondary level. She is a teacher consultant with the National Writing Project and serves as a research assistant on the Spencer Foundation funded project, TRANSLATE. She holds an M.Ed from the University of Texas, an M.A. from Baylor University, and a B.A. from Campbell University. Holland is now the Director of EL Programming · Valor Collegiate Academies, Nashville. 

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Carter-Stone, LLLE Alum

Laura Carter-Stone is a 2023 Ph.D. graduate in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Diversity at Vanderbilt University. She first developed a commitment to culturally sustaining instruction while teaching kindergarten on the Pine Ridge Reservation. As a high school Spanish and Response-to-Intervention English teacher in her home state of Kentucky, she incorporated dramatic play, digital media, music, and storytelling into her language and literacy learning classroom. Laura currently explores how the arts might create more engaging and equitable learning environments and is collaborating with Nashville performing artists to investigate potential intersections between education and dramatic improvisation. She holds an M.S. from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. from Grinnell College. 

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Dr. Heather Meston,
LLLE Alum 

Heather Meston is a graduate of the language, literacy, and culture in the department of teaching, learning, and diversity at Vanderbilt University. While working as an English and Social Studies teacher in Nashville middle schools, Heather discovered an interest in the role that dialogic pedagogy plays in the development of critical thinking and learner agency. She currently explores the ways in which teacher beliefs and knowledge surrounding classroom talk practices serve to foster more equitable experiences and outcomes for learners. For her contributions to student learning and engagement, she earned National Board Certification and was awarded a Blue Ribbon Teacher Award. Prior to becoming a teacher, she received her M.Ed. at Vanderbilt University and her B.S. in Psychology at Yale University.
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Dr. Min Oh

Min Oh is a graduate of the Peabody School of Education and Human Development. As a former English learner in the U.S. school system, Min is interested in supporting linguistically diverse learners’ language and literacy development and exploring various components that contribute to the process.  Currently, Min is involved in research projects that investigate: (1) language and reading comprehension achievement of English learners in high-EL growth states, (2) conceptual vocabulary knowledge of English learners, and (3) teacher beliefs of dual language development and its link to English learners’ reading achievement. She holds an Ed.M. in Language and Literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from Mercer University as a Stamps Family Charitable Foundation Scholar. Additional information on Min's work is available here

DR. Alexis McBride, 

Alexis McBride is an Assistant Professor at St. Mary's College. She is a graduate of the department of teaching, learning, and diversity at Vanderbilt University. A native English speaker, she is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and is developing proficiency in Irish Gaelic, a deeply personal goal tied to both her ancestry and her interest in the preservation of minority languages. McBride's dissertation research, which investigates the utility of translanguaging pedagogy in community college writing courses, was recently published in the education annals of the CIAIQ (Congresso Ibero-Americano em Investigação Qualitativa).  As a member of the L3E Research Group, Alexis also studies adult level writing as a means of gaining new insight into improving instructional supports for middle school writers. She holds a B.A. from the University of Pennslyvania and an M.A. from Boston College.

Dr. Janna McClain, 
LLLE Alum 

Janna McClain is Assistant Professor at Middle Tennessee State University. She is a graduate of the department of teaching, learning, and diversity at Vanderbilt University. Having spent nearly a decade teaching language in K-12 public school settings, she is passionate about teacher education and has taught undergraduate and graduate coursework in second language acquisition and methods of teaching ELL, as well as facilitated professional development as a teacher consultant with the National Writing Project. McClain's research focuses on preparing teachers to meet the increasing linguistic demands of the classroom. She recently received the Bonsal Dissertation Award for her mixed-methods proposal, which will result in a survey of teacher language ideology. She holds an M.Ed. from Middle Tennessee State University, a B.A. from the University of the South.

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