Dr. Davila's research examines the intersection of language learning and identity among immigrant and refugee students. While she focuses on multilingual students in U.S. school and community contexts, she has also examined how newly arrived immigrant and refugee students and their teachers negotiate second and heritage language learning/teaching at an urban elementary school in Sweden. Specific areas of interest include: the school experiences of adolescent multilingual learners, new/additional language and literacy development, teacher education and classroom pedagogies that support access and equity, and global perspectives on immigration and language education.
Ph.D., Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010
M.Ed., Teaching English as a Second Language, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2005
M.A., Comparative and International Development Education, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, 2000
B.A., Anthropology, French, Grinnell College, 1996
Dr. Davila's research explores many facets of language learning and use in home, school and community settings. Specific projects have examined 1) how adolescent English learners engage learning academic content and literacy; 2) curricular programming needs for English learners with limited or interrupted formal education; 3) and heritage language maintenance/learning at an elementary school in Sweden. Her current research explores how multilingual African immigrant and refugee high school students tap into home languages as they learn English, and the role of race, gender and social class in these students' language learning and overall experiences in school.
Thorstensson Davila, L. (2015) Diaspora literacy: An exploration of reading practices and identity in young African women English learners. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 58 (8), 641-649
Dávila, L. (2014) Performing Allegiance: An Adolescent Refugee’s Construction of Patriotism in JROCT Educational Studies 50 (5), 447-463 link >
Kolano, L., Dávila, L., & Coffee, H. (2014) Multicultural Teacher Education: Why North and South Carolina Teachers say it matters in preparing them for English Language Learners The CATESOL Journal 25 (1), 41-65
Thorstensson Davila, L. (2015) “Dare I ask?”: Eliciting prior knowledge and its implications for teaching and learning TESL-EJ: The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language 19 (2) link >
Dávila, L. (2014) The problematics of representation in qualitative research on refugee youth Diaspora, Immigrant and Minority Education 8 (1), 21-31
Dávila, L. (2013) Learning English and "Smartness": Refugee Students Negotiate Language, Reception, and Ability in School Journal of Southeast Asian Education and Advancement 8, 1-19 link >
Coffey, H., Dávila, L., & Kolano, L. (2013) Developing critical literacy with English language learners: A plan for understanding the social implications of dialect Multicultural Learning and Teaching/deGruyter 8 (1), 115-132
Dávila, L. (2012) “For them it’s sink or swim”: Refugee students and the dynamics of migration, and (dis)placement in school . Power and Education, Special issue on migration and education, 3 (4), 139-149
Principal Investigator An Examination of African High School English Learners’ Negotiation of New Language Learning and Academic Opportunity, The Spencer Foundation, 2016 - 2017
Lang Varieties,Cult,& Learning For students in the elementary and middle grades licensure programs. Introduces students to issues related to first- and second-language development, cultural diversity, and language variation. Addresses the above issues in terms of teaching and learning and serves as a base for subsequent courses that will extend these issues in the content areas. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Admission to a teacher preparation program.
Biling ESL Methods & Material Focuses on bilingual and English-as-a-second language (ESL) curriculum development and instruction for bilingual and second-language learners (K-12) in a variety of language and program settings. Emphasizes bilingual and ESL materials selection and development, bilingual and ESL literacy instruction, bilingual and ESL content area instruction, and sheltered English instruction. Issues related to second-language acquisition, cultural and linguistic diversity, and parental and community involvement are reviewed. Course Information: 4 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: CI 433 or consent of instructor.
Linguistics for Classrm Teach Intensive examination of problems and trends in the subject fields. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours.