Jun 15, 2024  
Graduate Record 2018-2019 
Graduate Record 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Language Education in Multilingual Contexts (PhD)

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Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Language Education in Multilingual Contexts

The Language Education in Multilingual Contexts (LEMC) Ph.D. concentration provides opportunities for students to pursue research interests related to teaching and learning in K-12 second language, foreign/world language, and bi/multilingual educational settings. Our Ph.D. students and graduates engage in research that play a key role in advancing knowledge and serving the needs of multilingual students and their teachers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. LEMC doctoral students attend classes, work on mentored and collaborative research, and engage in a range of teaching and supervisory roles. Students build theoretical, methodological, and empirical expertise through coursework focused on language education as well as hands-on research with faculty researchers in multilingual K-12 school contexts. Graduates are prepared for positions in university settings (e.g., in research intensive universities, liberal arts colleges, and other post-secondary institutions), school districts, government agencies, and non-governmental agencies (NGOs).

Students in the LEMC Ph.D. concentration have rich research and teaching experiences here at UVA and become part of a national network of new-generation researchers. Students become researchers on day one of their program and continue to partner with faculty in research and teaching experiences that prepare them to succeed in their careers as educational scholars.

Core Requirements

The Ph.D. in Education – Language Education in Multilingual Contexts requires a minimum of 72 credits, including at least 54 credits of coursework. The 54 credits include content courses and research methodology courses. In addition, students must complete 6 research apprenticeship credits and 12 dissertation credits. At least 36 course and apprenticeship credits must be completed after admission to the program. (Students entering the doctoral program with a master’s degree can apply up to 24 hours of credit to their doctoral studies, provided that the faculty advisor and program committee members agree that the courses are comparable to specific courses required in the doctoral program.)

There is a 15 semester-hour core minimum requirement of foundational language education courses, in additional to the research methodology coursework outlined below. Additional courses will be determined according to students’ area of specialization in coordination with the program committee and faculty advisor.

Required Core Courses include:

  • EDIS 7842: Teaching ELLs: Theory, Policy and Practice  
  • EDIS 7840: Discourse Analysis in Educational Settings
  • EDIS XXXX: Readings and Research in Language Education in Multilingual Contexts (Course may be repeated for credit)
  • EDIS 8855: Education & Diversity
  • At least one 3-credit course taken outside the School of Education to draw upon the interdisciplinary nature of Language Education and expertise across UVA grounds.

Strongly Recommended Core Courses include:

  • EDIS 7886: Comprehension of Texts
  • EDIS 7845: Writing: Research, Teaching & Learning
  • EDIS 8810: Policy Perspectives on Teaching and Teacher Education

Research Requirements

A minimum of 24 semester hours of core coursework is required.

Required Research Courses include:

  • EDIS 7852: Reading the Research
  • EDLF 7300: Foundations of Educational Research  
  • EDLF 5330: Educational Statistics I
  • EDLF 7420: Experimental Design or EDLF 8310: Correlation and Regression Analysis
  • EDLF 7404: Qualitative Analysis  
  • At least 9 hours of additional courses in research design, methods, measurement, and/or statistics. These will be determined in consultation with the faculty advisor and program

Other Requirements

Education of Teachers Internship

Students are expected to participate in internships that enable them to understand the workings of university-level teacher preparation. These internships consist of, but are not limited to, the following: supervising student teachers, serving as a graduate teaching assistant, serving as the instructor of a preservice or master’s-level course, assisting the Director of Teacher Education, working with the novice teachers network, designing and evaluating curriculum for P-12 programs, working with clinical instructors and cooperating teachers, supervising early field experiences, and/or serving as a connection between the schools and university in developing early field experiences, serving as a graduate clinician at the McGuffey Reading Center, etc.

Internships will be determined in consultation with faculty advisors, the Department Chair and the Program Coordinator.


Assessment of student progress through the program is multifaceted and includes components of assessment conducted both by faculty and by students themselves.

Student Annual Report

Each Ph.D. student will complete a report each year describing his or her growth and accomplishments. The report will guide students in reflecting on their own learning and progress and also allow faculty to assess student progress toward program goals.

Preliminary Examination

In the second semester of the first year of study, all full-time Ph.D. students will complete a preliminary exam designed to determine the likelihood of the student’s continued success in doctoral studies.  This exam consists of two parts: an in-depth critique of a research report and an oral presentation of the critique and the student’s professional goals statement. In addition, an evaluation of the proposed program will be conducted by the examination committee. The Ph.D. Assessment Rubric for Preliminary Examinations will be used to evaluate both the paper and the presentation.

Qualifying Paper

All LEMC Ph.D. students will complete a pre-dissertation research project that results in a manuscript submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for possible publication or an alternative scholarly publication consistent with the program area’s discipline. The manuscript must be submitted before the student undertakes dissertation work. There is no requirement that the paper be accepted for publication, but students are encouraged to make revisions to the manuscript if a resubmission is likely to result in publication. Programs and advisors are encouraged to shape these projects toward eventual publication. Faculty use the Qualifying Paper to assess the student’s progress in academic writing and scholarship.

Comprehensive Examination

All students will complete a written comprehensive examination to demonstrate understanding of the knowledge base and methodology in an area of curriculum and instruction to demonstrate readiness to undertake doctoral research. The examination will be graded independently by at least two faculty members according to the Ph.D. Assessment Rubric for Comprehensive Examinations.


All Ph.D. students will complete a dissertation proposal and a dissertation following either the traditional, book-manuscript model or the three-manuscript option. A dissertation is required to demonstrate that the student can carry out important, independent research in his or her field describe the project and its outcomes in lucid writing. The proposal and dissertation, which represent the final assessment points for the Ph.D. candidate, both include a written document and