Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Division 2 of the American Psychological Association


This compilation of resources highlights a variety of issues related to multilingual contexts. Resources address pedagogical strategies for teaching linguistically diverse populations and challenges of teaching and learning in multilingual environments.


Auer, P., & Wei, L. (2009). Handbook of multilingualism and multilingual communication (Handbooks of Applied Linguistics [Hal]). Mouton de Gruyter.

This book is a comprehensive introduction to multilingual schools, workplaces, and institutions.  Broad theoretical questions are addressed and practical solutions for everyday problems are given. 

Banks, J.A. (2009). The Routledge international companion to multicultural education (Routledge international handbooks). New York: Routledge.

This book serves as a complete reference on multicultural education around the world.  It provides key concepts as well as case studies to better explain those concepts.  Topics covered include theoretical and empirical reviews of curriculum restructuring, diversity of students, and immigration.

Cook V., Bassetti B. (Eds.). (2011). Language and bilingual cognition. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

This book presents an interdisciplinary overview of the relationship between language and cognition, with a focus on bilinguals.

Corson, D. (2001). Language diversity and education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

This text provides information on language diversity and education. Chapters review correlations of language, power, and social justice, as well as changes in language diversity and education practices. Bilingual and English as a Second Language education are also addressed.

de Bot, K., & Makoni, S. (2005). Language and aging in multilingual contexts. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.

Using a multicultural approach, the authors examine the function of language, bilingualism, and multilingualism with respect to aging. One of the main premises of the book is that the interactions between language and aging are dynamic and complex.

de Groot, A. M. B. (2011).  Language and cognition in bilinguals and multilinguals: An introduction. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

This text examines language acquisition, comprehension and production from the perspective of the bilingual and multilingual speaker. Bilingual language development, language production, late foreign language learning, the translation processes in bilinguals, and implications for cognition are addressed.

Denos, C., Toohey, K., & Neilson, K. (2009). Collaborative research in multilingual classrooms: Critical language and literacy studies. Tonawada, NY: Multilingual Matters.

This book provides results of research investigating how teachers may better work with people from a variety of linguistic, cultural, ability, and socio-economic backgrounds. 

Edwards, J. (2009). Language diversity in the classroom: Bilingual education and bilingualism. Tonawanda, NY: Multilingual Matters.

This book gives a complete overview of language contact within an educational setting.  Topics such as attitudes about languages and dialects and the implications of the assumptions underlying multilingual education are discussed.

Goldstein, T. (2003). Teaching and learning in a multilingual school: Choices, risks and dilemmas. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

The rise in cultural, racial, and linguistic diversity in schools increases the challenge in educating students who do not speak the majority language. Focusing on specific research, the book explores problems of language use in such an environment. The author promotes both multilingual and explicit English-learning activities in the classroom as means to achieve language acquisition, identity, and social networking.

Li, W., Dewaele, J., & Housen, A. (Eds.). (2002). Opportunities and challenges of bilingualism. Berlin, NY: Mouton de Gruyter.

This book examines the social aspects of bilingualism from a variety of perspectives and uses situations from around the globe in its analysis. Topics covered in the book include ecology, standardization, research in bilingual education, linguistic rights, research methodology, urban dialects, and immigration.

McLeod, B. (Ed.). (1994). Language and learning: Educating linguistically diverse students. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

This book focuses on students whose native or home language is other than English and the academic difficulties faced by these students. The different sections of the book focus on reform, pedagogy, and staffing suggestions to address the challenges facing this population.

Nero, S. J. (Ed). (2006). Dialects, Englishes, creoles, and education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

This volume focuses on the education of students who are speakers of diverse and hybrid varieties of standard English. The book offers suggestions on pedagogy for dealing with language diversity, examines the spread of language variation and analyzes issues related to language diversity such as identity and attitudes.

Schecter, S. R., & Cummins, J. (2003). Multilingual education in practice: Using diversity as a resource. Portsmouth, NH: Heineman.

The book explains the development of a second language in an academic setting by examining specific projects and pedagogical practices designed to benefit linguistic and ethnic minority students.

Skutnabb-Kangas, T., Phillipson, R., Mohanty, A. K., & Panda, M. (Eds.). (2009). Social justice through multilingual education. Tonawanda, NY:  Multilingualism Matters.

This book presents case studies from situations around the world in which indigenous peoples are deprived of needed multilingual education.  Why this is a problem and potential solutions are discussed.

Articles, Papers, and Book Chapters

American Psychological Association (2004, June 13). Being bilingual protects against some age-related cognitive changes, says new research [Press release]. Retrieved December 5, 2007 from

APA press release discussing the benefits of bilingualism on age-related cognitive decline.

Bialystok, E. (2011). Coordination of executive functions in monolingual and bilingual children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110(3), 461-468. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2011.05.005

This study demonstrated differences between monolingual and bilingual  8-year-olds  on a complex classification task in which they made semantic judgments on stimuli that were presented either visually or auditorily.  Results were interpreted in terms of the enhanced executive function of the bilingual children. 

Chen, S. X., & Bond, M. H. (2010). Two languages, two personalities? Examining language effects on the expression of personality in a bilingual context. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36(11), 1514-1528. doi:10.1177/0146167210385360

Two studies are presented which investigated the impact of language use on personality as perceived by the self and by others. Personality was found to be influenced by perceived cultural norms, language priming, and interlocutor ethnicity.

Cline, T., & Mahon, M. (2010). Deafness in a multilingual society: A review of research for practice. Educational and Child Psychology, 27(2), 41-49.

This article discusses several critical issues for educational psychologists working with deaf children in a multilingual context.  These include the growing number of children exposed to spoken languages other than English and/or to British Sign Language at home, assessment of children in oral and sign languages, and the identity development of deaf children primarily exposed to the Deaf community or to communities defined by oral language and culture.

Enyedy, N., Rubel, L., Castellón, V., Mukhopadhyay, S., Esmonde, I., & Secada, W. (2008). Revoicing in a multilingual classroom. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 10(2), 134-162., doi:10.1080/10986060701854458

This article is an examination of an educational technique, revoicing, in a multilingual educational context.  The study demonstrates the usefulness of revoicing and how it varies among teachers and languages.  The practical and policy effects of using this tool are discussed.

Flannery, M. E. (2006, January). Language can’t be a barrier. NEA Today. Retrieved from

This NEA article offers practical suggestions for connecting with students who speak a different language than the teacher in the classroom.

Goerman, P. L., & Caspar, R. A. (2010). Managing the cognitive pretesting of multilingual survey instruments: A case study of pretesting of the U. S. census bureau bilingual Spanish/English questionnaire. In J. A. Harkness., . . . T. W. Smith (Eds.), Survey methods in multinational, multiregional, and multicultural contexts (pp. 75-90 ). Hoboken, NJ:  Wiley. DOI: 10.1002/9780470609927.ch5

This chapter describes strategies for pretesting multilingual survey instruments with the aim of greater inclusivity of linguistically isolated groups in social research. 

Grabois, H. (1999). The convergence of sociocultural theory and cognitive linguistics: Lexical semantics and the L2 acquisition of love, fear and happiness. In G. B. Palmer & D. J. Occhi (Eds.), Languages of sentiment: Cultural constructions of emotional substrates (pp. 201–233). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

This chapter discusses research on native Spanish speakers, expert speakers of Spanish (native English speaking people who lived in Spain for at least three years and achieved an expert level of proficiency in the language), Spanish learners (native English speakers who were advanced learners of Spanish studying abroad in Spain), foreign-language Spanish learners (native English speakers who were enrolled in Spanish language courses and had taken about 2 years of Spanish), and native English speakers. It was found that as the speaker got closer to being a native Spanish speaker, mental structures changed from looking closer to a native English speaker to a native Spanish speaker.

Kroll, J. F., Dussias, P. E., Bogulski, C. A., & Kroff, J. R. V. (2012). Juggling two languages in one mind: What bilinguals tell us about language processing and its consequences for cognition. In B. H. Ross (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation (pp. 229-262). San Diego, CA: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-394393-4.00007-8

This chapter describes the gaps in the psycholinguistics literature that have resulted from a near exclusive focus on monolinguals until recently.  It reviews research on differences between bilinguals and monolinguals in cognitive processing and explores the implications of the finding that both languages are active when bilinguals are engaged in using a single language.

Nasser, I. (2011). Perspectives of Palestinian and Jewish parents in Israel on bilingual education. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 14(3), 301-318. doi:10.1080/13670050.2010.497203

This article presents data on the attitudes of parents whose children attend the first Arabic and Hebrew bilingual school in Israel (Neve-Shalom/Wahat-Alsalam—NSWAS).  Recommendations are included for establishing and maintaining bilingual and bi-national education programs.

Oades-Sese, G., Esquivel, G. B., Kaliski, P. K., & Maniatis, L. (2011). A longitudinal study of the social and academic competence of economically disadvantaged bilingual preschool children. Developmental Psychology, 47(3), 747-764. doi:10.1037/a0021380

This longitudinal study investigated the social–emotional and academic development of economically disadvantaged bilingual preschool children. Specific social–emotional development profiles were identified that were associated with later academic success. 

Oh, J. S., & Fuligni, A. J. (2010). The role of heritage language development in the ethnic identity and family relationships of adolescents from immigrant backgrounds. Social Development, 19(1), 202-220. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2008.00530.x

This study investigated the role of heritage language proficiency and use on parent-adolescent relationships and ethnic identity in Latin American and Asian immigrant adolescents. Findings indicated that heritage language proficiency, rather than choice of language, influenced ethnic identity and successful adjustment.

Ramburuth, P. (1999, September). Managing language and learning diversity in higher education: Enhancing the graduate experience. Paper presented at the International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on LEARNING, Penang, Malaysia.

This paper discusses strategies adopted at an Australian University in order to address issues of language and learning diversity in its graduate student population. Available online at:

Ransdell, S., Barbier, M., & Niit, T. (2006). Metacognitions about language skill and working memory among monolingual and bilingual college students: When does multilingualism matter? International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 9(6), 728-741.

This study examines self-awareness of various aspects of cognition within monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual college students in three different cultures.  Results demonstrated that bilingual and multilingual students have better awareness than monolingual students.

Ringberg, T. V., Luna, D., Reihlen, M., & Peracchio, L. A. (2010). Bicultural-bilinguals: The effect of cultural frame switching on translation equivalence. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 10(1), 77-92. doi:10.1177/1470595809359585

This article describes the use of a within-subject design to control for cultural variables while illustrating that language triggers frame switching among bicultural-bilinguals.  Implications for organizations seeking to employ bicultural-bilinguals as cultural mediators are discussed.

Rubio-Fernández, P., & Glucksberg, S. (2012). Reasoning about other people’s beliefs: Bilinguals have an advantage. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38(1), 211-217. doi:10.1037/a0025162

This article presents research indicating that bilingual adults are less susceptible to an egocentric bias than are monolingual adults when presented with false-belief reasoning tasks. This finding is explained in terms of bilinguals' superior executive control.

Snow, C. E. (1993). Bilingualism and second language acquisition. In J. B. Gleason & N. B. Ratner (Eds.), Psycholinguistics (pp. 391–416). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

This chapter discusses the consequences of living in a household where two languages are spoken. It discusses when these two languages are maintained ("native bilingualism") versus when one language replaces the other ("language attrition" also called "subtractive bilingualism").

Stockman, I., Boult, J., & Robinson, G. (2008). Multicultural/multilingual instruction in educational programs: A survey of perceived faculty practices and outcomes. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17(3), 241-264.

This study examined the effectiveness of multicultural/multilingual strategies on speech pathology and audiology programs.  Results demonstrated that outcomes were better for classes dedicated to multiculturalism/multilingualism than classes that are not.  

Weisskirch, R. S., Kim, S. Y., Zamboanga, B. L., Schwartz, S. J., Bersamin, M., & Umaña-Taylor, A. J. (2011). Cultural influences for college student language brokers. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17(1), 43-51. doi:10.1037/a0021665

This study surveyed college students with immigrant parents to investigate the impact of being a language broker on well-being. Language brokers translate written and spoken communication for their parents.  Frequent language brokers were found to score highest on measures of cultural heritage values (such as familism, filial piety, and communalism), ethnic identity, and acculturation, followed by infrequent language brokers and then non-language brokers. The authors suggest that language brokering may act as an acculturation strategy in that it allows the broker to retain the heritage culture as well as acquire skills needed to function successfully in the dominant culture.

Web sites

Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism/Multicultural Education

A collection of Web links to a variety of diversity topics and resources. Other special topics include bilingual language and literacy.

Teaching Diverse Learners

This online diversity kit offers research-based resources to help teachers address the needs of all their students in the classroom. The kit is divided into three sections: Development, Culture, and Language, and each can be downloaded from the site.

Gándara, P., Maxwell-Jolly, J., & Driscoll, A. (2005). Listening to teachers of English language learners: A survey of California teachers’ challenges, experiences, and professional development needs. Santa Cruz, CA: The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.

This report focuses on feedback from teachers working with English language learners in California schools. In the report, teachers discuss what is needed to be a more effective teacher to this population of students. Available at

McGraw Hill Education Resources: Methods for Multicultural Classrooms

This Web resource offers teaching methods from McGraw Hill including “Methods for Multicultural Classrooms” and “Multicultural Curriculum Development.” Each topic is linked to other resources including issues related to language diversity.

Teaching Styles Online:  Teaching in Multilingual Contexts

This is a website with information and resources for teachers teaching in multilingual classrooms.  There is information specific to teaching in India, but there is also general advice, resources, and suggestions.

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