Connecting School and the Multilingual Home Theory and Practice for Rural Educators Author: Maria R. Coady

Paperback - 160 pages
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30 Apr 2019
234 x 156


This book examines the educational achievement gap that multilingual students in disadvantaged, rural communities experience and argues that responsive, successful relationships between schools and multilingual families are a crucial aspect of educators’ work. The author recognizes that no simple strategy will work for all families in all circumstances and that family engagement is more complex than a list of strategies. Building meaningful partnerships and relational trust requires significant knowledge of and engagement with a family’s culture and language repertoire. Educators must reframe their work to recognize the strengths of multilingual families, which are too-often overlooked in school policies and educator practices. This is the first book to focus specifically on rural school settings. However, the ideas and information presented in the book are of use to all educators who wish to support their multilingual students and to meet students' full academic potential.


Reading this book gives me hope. Rural multilingual families are challenged in so many ways: from encountering steady jobs, to locating health services they can understand, to being able to attend (at worst), and participate fully (at best) in school. This book highlights action, strengths, and engagement opportunities for rural multilingual families in school through non-traditional, culturally and linguistically responsive, and equitable ways. It is a long-needed resource.

- Holly Hansen-Thomas, Texas Woman's University, USA

Outstanding teachers make a significant difference to students’ academic success and chances in life. This thought-provoking book stunningly articulates the importance of developing caring and trustworthy relationships with rural multilingual families and children by equipping educators with the tools to reflect and act on behalf of those families.

- Claudia Peralta, Boise State University, USA

This useful book fulfills a critical need for more complex understandings of multilingual children and families living in rural communities. Skillfully drawing on anecdote, theory, and research, Coady not only shows readers why a strength-based perspective is necessary for school-home-school engagement, but offers concrete ideas for how to create more humanized spaces for multilingual learning in rural communities.

- Karen Eppley, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Author Biography:

Maria R. Coady is Irving and Rose Fien Endowed Professor and Associate Professor of ESOL/Bilingual Education at the University of Florida, USA. She has worked extensively in rural multilingual settings. She is director of Project STELLAR (Supporting Teachers and Educators of English Language Learners Across Rural Settings) and has taught English in the USA and abroad. She has also directed a rural biliteracy development project, Libros de Familia, with multilingual families. 

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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