2022 Ethnicity, Race and Multilingualism Committee Travel Award Winner – Mariana Lima Becker

The Ethnicity, Race and Multilingualism Committee (ERM) is committed to supporting and promoting the work of scholars from diverse backgrounds. This year, the ERM awarded four doctoral student or early career scholars of color the ERM Travel Award.


Read more about one of our award winners below. 

Mariana Lima Becker is a Ph.D. candidate in Curriculum & Instruction at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Before starting her doctoral studies, Mariana was an English as a Foreign Language teacher at schools and several language institutes in her hometown of Recife, Brazil. She is also a licensed English as a Second Language teacher in the U.S. state of Massachusetts.


Her research explores the intersection of bilingual education for language-minoritized students, language and literacy studies, and im/migration. Co-advised by Dr. Jon M. Wargo (Boston College) and Dr. Gabrielle Oliveira (Harvard University), her dissertation examines the experiences of education and literacy practices of Brazilian immigrant children across their homes and classrooms in a dual language bilingual education program (Portuguese-English) in Massachusetts. She is a 2022 NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellow and has published research reports in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Early Childhood LiteracyChildhood, and the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

Mariana’s research critically considers how U.S. public schools respond to increased waves of migrants from non-dominant cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In a recent research project, for example, she explored how young children of Brazilian descent constructed ideas about and avenues of belonging in their K-1 U.S. bilingual classrooms through their language and literacy practices. Additionally, Mariana’s scholarship approaches how transnational communication has been leveraged by im/migrant children and their families to create spaces for the maintenance of kinship ties, affinity, and collaboration, affording key opportunities for language and literacy learning. Mariana’s scholarly work contributes to current dialogues around ethnicity, race, and multilingualism by assembling holistic portraits and understandings of immigrant childhoods as well as the educational trajectories of Portuguese-speaking Latinx populations. Her scholarship also offers insights into how pre-service and in-service educators can prepare to meet not only the academic needs of culturally and linguistically diverse children but also promote well-being, critical consciousness, and robust bi/multilingual identities.


A pesquisa de Mariana considera criticamente como as escolas públicas dos EUA respondem ao influxo de populações migrantes advindas de contextos culturais e linguísticos não-dominantes. Em um projeto de pesquisa recente, por exemplo, ela explorou como um grupo de crianças de ascendência brasileira construíram ideias e formas de pertencimento em suas salas de aula (alfabetização e primeiro ano do ensino fundamental) nos Estados Unidos por meio de suas práticas de linguagem e letramento. Além disso, Mariana aborda como a comunicação transnacional tem sido utilizada por crianças imigrantes e suas famílias para criar espaços para a manutenção de laços familiares, afinidade e colaboração, proporcionando oportunidades importantes para o aprendizado de língua(s) e letramento(s). O trabalho acadêmico de Mariana contribui para os diálogos atuais sobre etnia, raça e multilinguismo por gerar  retratos holísticos das infâncias imigrantes, bem como das trajetórias educacionais de populações latinas de língua portuguesa. Sua pesquisa também oferece insights sobre como educadores podem se preparar para atender não apenas às necessidades acadêmicas de crianças imigrantes, mas também promover seu bem-estar, consciência crítica e identidades bi/multilíngues robustas.


Cover Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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