Book co-authored by VCU education professor tops list of 2023 titles in Cambridge University Press series – VCU News

It used to be a common practice in schools – putting students with limited English skills into separate classrooms with specialist teachers. But as methods have evolved, more teachers spend more time with multilingual learners, and a book co-authored by a Virginia Commonwealth University education professor has made an impression in the field.

According to Cambridge University Press, Luciana de Oliveira’s “Teaching Young Multilingual Learners” was the top title published in its Cambridge Elements academic series in 2023, receiving 35,567 downloads and views.

De Oliveira, Ph.D., is associate dean for academic affairs and graduate studies in the VCU School of Education and a professor in its Department of Teaching and Learning. The book, co-authored with University of Maryland, College Park associate clinical professor Loren Jones, Ph.D., provides a comprehensive overview of research on language teaching practices designed for young multilingual learners in primary school settings within English-speaking environments. It was one of 374 titles published in the Elements series across all subject areas in 2023.

De Oliveira said the book aims to prepare general education teachers to work with young multilingual learners across all content areas – a particularly crucial need as many states see increasing numbers of such students in their schools.

“Teaching multilingual learners has moved away from providing language support in specialized classes to these students being included in a general education classroom for a lot of their time in schools,” she said. “This means that all teachers, not only ESOL specialists and bilingual teachers, need to be prepared with the skills and knowledge to work with this population of students.”

De Oliveira, who is certified to teach English and Portuguese, is a past president of TESOL International Association, the largest international organization for teachers of multilingual learners worldwide.

In April, shortly after the Cambridge book was released, de Oliveira also published “Supporting Multilingual Learners’ Academic Language Development: A Language-Based Approach to Content Instruction” (Routledge), which features strategies for addressing the language demands of teaching English language arts, social studies, mathematics and science. Both books combine de Oliveira’s 30 years of K-12 and higher education teaching experience and her research on teaching multilingual learners, including how language plays a role in content learning and teacher education.