top of page

AMTESOL 2023  Keynote Speaker


AMTESOL 2023 logo.png

January 27-28, 2023

Huntsville, Alabama

Dr Meg Gebhard Keynote Speaker AMTESOL 2023

Keynote Speaker: Meg Gebhard, Ph.D.

Dr. Meg Gebhard taught and directed a program for multilingual learners in Quincy, Massachusetts in the 1990s before earning her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 2000. Her research focuses on multilingual learners’ content-based reading and writing development and their teachers’ professional development in the context of high stakes school reforms. Dr. Gebhard is currently a Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has co-authored numerous publications with teachers working in urbans schools in Massachusetts. Her most recent publication is titled Teaching and researching ELLs’ disciplinary literacies: Systemic Functional Linguistics in action in the context of U.S. school reform (Routledge). This book provides teachers with a practical guide for designing and critically reflecting on content-based instruction using Halliday’s theory of systemic functional linguistics (SFL). 

Keynote address: Friday January 27, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Engaging Multilingual Learners to Read and Write Across the Curriculum: A Functional Perspective of Language in Service of an Equity Agenda

Dr. Meg Gebhard will introduce a functional perspective of language that enables K-12 teachers to scaffold multilingual learners’ abilities to read, write, and critically discuss the types of texts or genres they routinely encounter in developing content knowledge in English language arts, social studies, math, and science (e.g., recounts, narratives, reports, explanations, and arguments).


In this interactive presentation, Dr. Meg Gebhard will:

  • Highlight some of the differences between everyday language used to construct everyday ways of knowing and disciplinary language used to construct disciplinary knowledge.

  • Share examples of how teachers have used a functional perspective of language to design curriculum and conduct inquiry projects in their classrooms. Using samples of instructional materials and student work from these projects, Dr. Gebhard will demonstrate how teachers can address content, language/literacy, and equity goals they defined as essential to their students’ educational wellbeing.

  • Give recommendations for teachers wishing to get started in using a functional perspective of language to support an equity agenda in the contexts where they work. 

3-hour Pre-Conference Institute workshop: Friday morning, January 27, 2023

Using a Functional Perspective of Language to Design Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessments in Service of an Equity Agenda

Sorry - this workshop is full. 

Dr. Meg Gebhard will introduce participants to a functional perspective of language they can use to design curriculum, instruction, and assessments as a way of addressing equity issues in their classrooms and reflecting on their teaching practices. During this hands-on workshop, participants will:

  • Identify a type of text or genre their multilingual students are routinely required to read, write, and discuss in a specific content area (e.g., recounts, narratives, reports, explanations, and arguments).

  • Develop an understanding of how language and images typically function in this genre to make content-specific kinds of meanings (e.g., the expected organizational structure of a text; use of language to construct the main ideas, the voice or tone, and the coherent flow of information in an extended text).

  • Prepare and annotate the linguistic features of a model text they can use in their classrooms to critically scaffold their students’ developing content knowledge, language/literacy development, and sense of themselves as critical readers and writers.

This workshop will conclude with participants sharing how they will use this model text in their classrooms in practical ways to support an equity agenda (e.g., drawing on students’ linguistic and cultural resources prior to assigning a challenging reading or writing task; preparing genre-based reading and writing guides; designing genre-based rubrics to make assessment criteria clear and to support peer and self-assessment; documenting changes in the literacy practices of a focus student as part of a professional learning community).

bottom of page