AERA Bilingual Education Research SIG:

2022 Award Winners

On behalf of the leadership team of the AERA BER SIG, we send all of our nominees and awardees a huge congratulations! We are celebrating the recognition of your excellence in scholarship and thank you for all you have done and are doing to positively impact the field of bilingual education. Awardees were asked to submit a brief bit about their work and publications to read, which you will find below.  Congratulations to all! 


A person smiling for the camera  Description automatically generated with low confidenceOutstanding Dissertation Award  

1st Place:

Lakeya Omogun [she/her], Assistant Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture, University of Washington

Planned Talk: (Re)locating to the United States: Nigerian Immigrant Youth Identity Constructions Through Languages and Literacies. I explored six Nigerian immigrant youth language and literacy practices. They strategically employed bilingual practices to racially and socially position themselves at school. Outside of school, the youth engaged in translanguaging practices to foster social emotional connections, uphold Nigerian cultural values, and dismantle generational linguistic barriers. Committee: Allison Skerrett (chair), Toyin Falola, Grace MyHyun Kim, Melissa Wetzel, Jo Worthy.

Publications to Read

  1. Omogun, L. & Skerrett, A. & (2021). From Haiti to Detroit through Black Immigrant languages and literacies. Journal of Literacy Research, 53(3), 406-429. 
  2. Skerrett, A. & Omogun, L. (2020). When racial, transnational, and immigrant identities and literacies meet: Black youth of Caribbean origin speak. Teachers College Record, 122 (13).


Jennifer PhuongOutstanding Dissertation Award

2nd Place: 

Jennifer Phuong [she/her], Visiting Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College

About this Work: This school-based ethnographic and discourse analytic study accounted for the complex interplay between bilingual and special education. At a bilingual charter school in Philadelphia, I worked with teachers as they collaborated in planning and implementing instruction and as they negotiated and created discourses related to language, race, and disability. Committee: Nelson Flores (Chair) Subini Ancy Annamma, Nancy H. Hornberger, & Betsy Rymes.

Publications to Read

  1. Phuong, J., & Cioè-Peña, M. (2022). Perfect or mocha: Language policing and pathologization. In S. A. Annamma, B. Ferri, & D. J. Connor (Eds.), DisCrit expanded: Inquiries, reverberations & ruptures. Teachers College Press. 
  2. Phuong, J., & Venegas, K. M. (forthcoming). Towards linguistic and disability justice [Scholars Speak Out! Series, Invited]. Journal of Language & Literacy in Education.


A person wearing a hat and tie  Description automatically generated with medium confidenceOutstanding Dissertation Award

2nd Place: 

Mitchell Ingram, University of Texas, Austin; Entre broma y broma la verdad se asoma: The mobilization of third grade emergent bilinguals' cultural capital around sites of humor. 

About this Work: The role of humor as a form of cultural capital (navigational, resistant, resilient) is explored as it intersects with the language of minoritized Spanish-speaking students. Ultimately, understanding how and why students employ affiliative/disaffiliative relajo, dichos, refranes, modismos, and chistes would aid both teacher-educators and classroom teachers to foster this agency for a more equitable education. Committee: Dr. Cinthia Salinas (Chair) Dr. Deborah Palmer, Dr. Paty Abril-González, Dr. Tracey Flores, Dr. Denise Dávila


  1. Ingram, M.D. (submitted 2021). A (Dis)Play On Words: Emergent Bilingual Students’ Use Of Doble Sentido As A Channel Of The Translanguaging Corriente. Linguistics in Education
  2. Henderson, K. I., & Ingram, M.D. (2018). “Mister, you’re writing in Spanglish”: Fostering spaces for meaning making and metalinguistic connections through teacher translanguaging shifts in the bilingual classroom. Bilingual Research Journal, 1-19.


A close-up of a person smiling  Description automatically generatedEarly Career Award


Maria Cioè-Peña, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Foundations, Montclair State University


Planned talk: I will take an opportunity to share the contributions I hope to have made to the field around centering students with disabilities and their mothers. I will also highlight the sources of support and community members that have made this work possible. 


  1. Cioè-Peña, M. (May 2021). (M)othering Labeled Children: Bilingualism and Disability in the Lives of Latinx Mothers. Multilingual Matters. 
  2. Cioè-Peña, M. (2021). "From Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies to Culturally Sustaining Research: Engaging with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families of Students with Dis/abilities.” Teachers College Record. 


Maria E FranquizLifetime Achievement Award


María E. Fránquiz, Professor, and Program Coordinator of Bilingual/Bicultural Studies, University of Texas at Austin


The Bilingual Research SIG leadership team is thrilled to honor Dr. Fránquiz with the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is proudly given in recognition of Dr. Fránquiz’ outstanding, world-class scholarship and her notable impact on the field of bilingual education through continuous scholarship in bilingual education research and practices, her service to bilingual education at the national and local levels, and her steady mentorship of students and early career scholars. We have all been touched by the brilliance, kindness, and humility of Dr. Fránquiz and are thrilled to be able to honor her work and legacy in this way.  


Dr. Fránquiz currently serves as President-Elect of the National Council of Teachers of English. Her publications appear in journals such as TESOL Quarterly, Journal of Latinos and Education, Language Arts, Multicultural Perspectives, The High School Journal, Reading in the Teaching of English, the Journal of Classroom Interaction, and others. She has also co-authored two books, Inside the Latin@ Experience: A Latin@ Reader and Scholars in the Field: The Challenges of Migrant Education. In addition, Dr. Fránquiz serves as the co-editor of the Bilingual Research Journal.


Congratulations to all of the 2019 Bilingual Education Research SIG Award Winners!

2019 Outstanding Dissertation Awards

First Place
Laura Carolina Chávez-Moreno, Ph. D. 
Postdoctoral Scholar
Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Title: A Critical Race Ethnography Examining Dual-language Education in the New Latinx Diaspora: Reinforcing and Resisting Bilingual Education’s Racial Roots

Abstract: Dual language (DL) is a popular bilingual education model, touted for its promise to mitigate the historical achievement gap of the emergent bilingual Latinx population while also teaching Spanish to English speakers (in this case, White students). However, recent scholarship has noted that some DL programs unintentionally exacerbate racial inequalities. This critical race ethnography bridges the fields of bilingual education and critical race studies in order to understand the practices leading to this unintended outcome in two secondary schools with a DL program meant to address disparities in its increased Latinx population. The analyses focused on policy, curriculum, pedagogy, and ideologies, and drew data from policy documents, interviews, post-observation discussions with teachers, and participant observations of schools, classrooms and community events. The project contributes four findings: (a) DL preserved the value of white racial identity at the expense of and with funding for Latinxs; (b) the program did not practice offering curriculum and pedagogy that would enhance youth’s critical and racial consciousness; (c) teachers viewed DL as culturally relevant because it offered biliteracy, and made sense of Latinx underperformance with deficit logics; and (d) teachers discursively positioned Latinx and Black students against each other, and understood the program’s antiblackness as lack of access to DL thus overlooking Black students’ needs. By looking across the findings, the author contends that schooling offers youth of color biliteracy through DL with the consequence of whitewashing bilingual education and racializing Latinxs as “honorary whites.” The author argues for bilingual education to conceptualize Chicanx and ethnic studies as central to its mission in order for bilingual education to contribute toward a Latinidad that is anti-racist and decolonial. This study’s implications and significance invite the Latinx community, along with its educators, to reimagine bilingual education as a political project that teaches critical racial consciousness.

Dissertation Chair: Gloria J. Ladson-Billings, Emerita Professor of Curriculum & Instruction

Degree Granting Institution: University of Wisconsin, Madison 

Second Place
Laura Hamman-Ortiz, Ph. D. 
Postdoctoral Scholar
School of Education
University of Colorado-Boulder

Title: Reframing the Language Separation Debate: Language, Identity, and Ideology in Two-Way Immersion

Abstract: This year-long case study explores the language practices and ideologies that shape learning in a second-grade two-way immersion (TWI) classroom. There is ongoing debate within the field of bilingual/immersion education concerning the separation of instructional languages in TWI. Much of this debate has focused on language use alone, not accounting for the complex interrelationship among classroom practices, student identities, and language ideologies. This dissertation study addresses this gap by (a) tracing how TWI classroom language practices and ideologies shape student experiences of “doing being bilingual” (Auer, 1984) and (b) exploring how a bilingual identity text project might foster a critical translanguaging space. Findings reveal that language separatist ideologies impacted how students made sense of bilingualism and their emerging bilingual identities, in ways that were both affirming and problematic. On a more promising note, findings from the identity text project demonstrated its potential to bolster dynamic bilingualism and critical dialogue in TWI classrooms.

Link to dissertation 

Dissertation Chair: Maggie Hawkins, Professor, Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Granting Institution: University of Wisconsin, Madison 

Third Place
Idalia Nuñez, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor
College of Education 
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Title: Literacies of Surveillance: Transfronterizx Children Translanguaging Identity Across Borders, Inspectors, and Surveillance

Abstract: This dissertation research is a multiple case-study focused on the everyday language and literacy practices of three transfronterizx children—children who experience life on both sides of the U.S.-México border—in order to understand how children “read and wrote” themselves as constantly surveilled subjects. This study considered the impact of the physical and figurative borders to the ways children authored who they were across spaces to meet academic, cultural, and familial demands. The findings revealed that transfronterizx children dealt with national, academic, and cultural surveillance on a daily basis that required for them to develop literacies of surveillance to make decisions on their translanguaging. This study challenges deficit perspectives associated to transfronterizx children, families, and communities and offers important theoretical and actionable contributions that can transform educational settings to become spaces that support all students and their bi(multi)lingual experiences.

Link to Dissertation

Dissertation Co-Chairs: Claudia Cervantes-Soon and Luis Urrieta, Jr.

Degree Granting Institution: The University of Texas at Austin

2019 Early Career Scholar Award

Claudia G. Cervantes-Soon, Associate Professor at Arizona State University


Claudia G. Cervantes-Soon is Associate Professor of Bilingual Education at Arizona State University. Her research interests center on critical ethnographic approaches to study the cultural production and pedagogical practices among historically marginalized communities in bilingual, bicultural, and borderlands contexts. Drawing on critical pedagogy, border/transborder epistemologies, and anticolonial Chicana feminist theories Dr. Cervantes-Soon explores ways in which educators and youth enact agency and forge empowered identities. Her work in bilingual education examines the inequities persistent in two-way dual language education and the possibilities for the field to reclaim a focus on critical consciousness and historically marginalized populations. Her current project, Building Black and Brown Bridges of Solidarity through Dual Language Education was awarded the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and she is the author of Juárez Girls Rising: Transformative Education in Times of Dystopia, which received a C. Wright Mills Book Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems and a Critics' Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association in 2017. Her work has also been recognized by the American Association of University Women and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, and her publications have appeared in the Bilingual Research Journal, Equity and Excellence in Education, Harvard Education Review, Race Ethnicity and Education, and Review of Research in Education among others.

Dr. Cervantes-Soon earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Cultural Studies in Education, Women's & Gender Studies, and Mexican American Studies, and holds an M.Ed and B.I.S. in Bilingual Education from the University of Texas at El Paso. Prior to joining ASU, Dr. Cervantes-Soon was an Assistant Professor at UT-Austin and at UNC-Chapel Hill. Originally from Ciudad Juárez, México her teaching and research are inspired by her own transborder experiences and her work of almost a decade as a bilingual/dual-language teacher and ESL/family literacy specialist in El Paso, Texas and across central Nebraska.

2019 Lifetime Achievement Award   

Belinda Bustos Flores, Professor and Associate Dean of Professional Preparation, Assessment, and Accreditation at the University of Texas at San Antonio


Belinda Bustos Flores, professor and associate dean of professional preparation, assessment, and accreditation in the College of Education and Human Development, University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), completed her Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Austin in Curriculum and Instruction with specializations in Multilingual Studies and Educational Psychology. In 2000, she received the 1st place award for Outstanding Dissertation from The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE). She was awarded the 2004 UTSA President’s Distinguished Award for Research Excellence.
Her research interests and publications in peer reviewed, Tier I journals focus on Latino and bilingual teacher development including self-concept, ethnic identity, efficacy, beliefs, teacher recruitment/retention, and high stakes testing. Publications also focus on teacher sociocultural knowledge of family cultural literacy. Dr. Flores’ work has been cited in top journals such as the Bilingual Research Journal, Curriculum Inquiry, Curriculum Studies, Educational Researcher, Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Studies, Handbook of Teacher Education, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Journal of Latinos & Education, Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, Multicultural Perspectives, Teachers College Record, The Reading Teacher, The Urban Review, and Young Children. She has published 5 books that focus on the preparation of teachers for bilingual and second language populations.  

In addition to being a nationally renowned scholar, Dr. Flores is the founder of the UTSA’s nationally recognized Academy for Teacher Excellence (ATE). In 2003, she received a Title V Grant from the Department of Education to create ATE at UTSA. She obtained three USDOE’s Transition to Teaching Grants to certify degreed individuals in the critical shortage areas of mathematics, science, and special education with a focus on English and bilingual learners. In 2007, Dr. Flores was awarded a research grant to explore the conditions that promote the retention of teachers teaching in low performing schools and to examine the academic, personal, and cultural indicators of successful mathematics and science teachers, specifically those teaching English language learners. In 2008, Dr. Flores received a foundation grant to create an induction learning community and to study the impact of induction support on novice teachers working in critical teaching shortage areas. Most recently, she acquired another Title V, USDOE grant, ATE: Equity, Education and Entrepreneurship (ATE E3) to further strengthen the preparation of teachers in the areas of math, science, and technology. In 2008, Dr. Flores received a $2000 research award, plus travel expenses to deliver a commissioned paper at University of California -LMRI Conference entitled: Examining the preparation of math and science teachers as culturally efficacious for classrooms serving English Learners. Based on her expertise, in 2008 she was selected to serve on the HACU Hispanic Higher Education Research Collaborative (H3ERC) Panel. 

Under Dr. Flores leadership, the Academy for Teacher Excellence has (1) recruited, retained, and supported over 400 undergraduate teacher candidates, with majority being Latino women; (2) provided induction support to over 200 novice teachers; and (3) recruited, supported, retained, and certified 180 graduate students in math, science, and special education (80% women and 50% Latinos working with about 7,500 low income, minority high school students). In addition to student support, ATE has funded 42 faculty research projects totaling $138,000, funded 3 doctoral student fellowships totaling $55,000, supported 6 graduate assistants totaling $80,000, and sponsored 30 professional development seminars providing $18,000 in faculty stipends. ATE E3 goals were to increase minority student access to education through the use of technology the project supplied over 300 students and 150 faculty with iPhone and iPad as educational and instructional tools. To date ATE has secured over $27 million dollars in external funding. To support bilingual and minority learners, ATE established 22 after-school La Clase Mágica clubs for promoting biliteracy, ethnomathematics, digital literacy, numeracy, and robotics. UTSA's Academy for Teacher Excellence was honored in 2012 by the UTSA President's Distinguished Inaugural Award for Diversity and as an Example of ¡Excelencia! Finalist in Washington, D.C.  ATE was recognized in 2015 as a "Bright Spot in Hispanic Education" by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
In recognition of her lifetime work, in 2012, Dr. Flores was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame and recognized as UT College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction as an exceptional alumna and featured on their website. In 2013, she was named as Reviewer of the Year for the Journal of Mentoring and Tutoring and was selected as the Texas Association for Bilingual Education Higher Education Honoree. In 2015, the AERA Hispanic Research Issues SIG honored Dr. Flores with the Elementary, Secondary, and Postsecondary Award for extensive contributions to scholarship. In 2016, The University of Colorado, Boulder invited Dr. Flores to be their Inaugural Summer 2016 Scholar. She continues to work creating and researching on grooming- and growing-your-teachers in critical shortage areas, specifically in bilingual education. In 2019, the Academy for Teacher Excellence became an UTSA official research center.

2019 Graduate Student Travel Awards ($500)
Rachel Snyder, University of Washington-Seattle
Zhongfeng Tian, Boston College
Kevin Wong, New York University (Steinhardt)
Lina Martin Corredor, University of Texas at San Antonio