Doctoral Degree: Language, Literacy and Culture Concentration

The Language, Literacy and Culture (LLC) community brings together faculty and students with interests in the areas of first and second language acquisition, ESL, bilingual and world language education, reading, writing, children’s literature, multicultural education, multiliteracies, oral communication, information processing, critical thinking, media literacy, multimodality, creativity/innovation, global awareness, cultural competency, problem-solving, teamwork/collaboration, self-directed learning and leadership. We strive to create a dynamic synergy among these areas in order to better address the needs of all learners in a diverse society.

The LLC community seeks students committed to researching language, literacy and culture as negotiating participation in communities, expressing and developing social identities, and the study of ideologies and power relations to transform schools, communities, and the broader society.

The LLC community promotes adopting a scholarly engagement approach to research; a teacher-as-researcher stance to professional development; a critical and functional view of language and language learning; and a recursive focus on issues concerning social justice and the institutional and political contexts influencing public education.


The LLC Practitioner Program is nationally recognized by National Council for Accreditation in Teacher Educators (NCATE), Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and the International Association of Reading (IRA). 

Additionally, LLC faculty have formed the ACCELA Alliance (Access through Critical Content and English Language Acquisition), an award-winning, federal and state-funded professional development collaboration among UMass Amherst, the Springfield, Holyoke and Amherst, Mass., public school districts, and several community organizations in western Massachusetts. ACCELA supports academic literacy development of linguistically and culturally diverse students attending public schools by providing their teachers with data-driven professional development opportunities.

Program of Study

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Contact Information

Concentration Coordinator:  Maria José Botelho (Associate Professor)

Associated Faculty

Theresa Austin (Professor), Maria Jose Botelho (Associate Professor), Barbara Hruska (Lecturer), Nina Kositsky (Lecturer), Sonia Nieto (Professor Emerita), Marsha Rudman (Professor Emerita), K.C. Nat Turner (Associate Professor), Laura Valdiviezo (Interim Department Chair), and Jerri Willet (Professor Emerita)