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Giselle Martinez Negrette


Dr. Martinez Negrette is an Assistant Professor with expertise in bilingual/ESL (English as a second language) education, sociolinguistics, and educational policy studies. She has worked as a language teacher in several different regions including Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Her research interests are centered on issues of language, equity, and social justice, particularly in relation to the schooling of linguistically and culturally diverse children in the United States and other regions of the world. Her research focus has led her to conduct research examining language and education in Latin America, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Australasia. In her most recent work, Dr. Martinez Negrette investigates how emergent bilinguals in dual language immersion (DLI) programs perceive, enact, and negotiate the tenuous intersections of race, ethnicity, social class position, and language in American school settings. Her work has been recognized nationally and locally by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, and the Morgridge Center for Public Service at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Key Professional Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D. in Bilingual Education & English as a Second Language (ESL)

New Mexico State University, MA in Bilingual Education and TESOL

Universidad del Atlántico, BA in Modern Languages Teaching (Spanish/English)

Awards, Honors, Associations

Outstanding Dissertation Award - Honorable Mention , American Educational Research Association, 2020

National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, National Academy of Education, 2018

Research & Service

Dr. Martinez Negrette's research interests center on bilingual/multilingual education, English as a Second Language (ESL), sociolinguistics, and International Comparative Education. She employs qualitative methods to study the intricate processes that emergent bilinguals engage in as they use language to enact and negotiate their identities and interactions within tenuous social and linguistic intersections. Through her research, she aims to shed light on the ways in which language practices and interactions may be shaped by social constructions from a very early age.

Her work is guided by sociocultural approaches to language and education and engages sociological studies of social (re)production in schools, social constructionist studies of bilingual education, and the emerging field of raciolinguistics. She uses an intersectional approach to examine the ways in which social constructions such as race, social class position, and language interact on multiple levels to shape students’ experiences.


Martinez Negrette, G. (2024). “Don't Take Our Space”: Strategies, Agency, and Resistance in the White Space of a Dual Language Program. TESOL Quarterly, 58(1), 91-113.  link >

Martinez Negrette, G. (2024). ‘He looks like a monster’: kindergarten children, racial perceptions, and systems of socialization in dual language education. Race Ethnicity and Education, 27(2), 232-250.  link >

Martinez Negrette, G. (Accepted/In press). Bilingual Ways with Words: Children’s Identity Enactment and Negotiation in a Dual Language Immersion Class. Journal of Language, Identity and Education.  link >

Martinez Negrette, G. (2022). “You don’t speak Spanish in the cafeteria”: An Intersectional Analysis of Language and Social Constructions in a Kindergarten Dual Language Immersion Class. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 25(4), 1467-1483.  link >

Negrette, G. M., Laixely, J., Cordoba, T. E., & Sanders-Smith, S. C. (2022). “So we start from zero”: Lessons and reflections from online preschool during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 20(4), 539-551.  link >

Martinez Negrette, G. D. C. (2020). Immigration Patterns and History of Latin@s in the Midwest: Educational Implications & Future Considerations. Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, 14(1), 1-20.  link >

Martinez Negrette, G., & Karabon, A. (Accepted/In press). Figuring Math: Knowledge and Agency in a Bilingual Early Childhood Classroom. Journal of Latinos and Education, 22(1), 1-15.  link >

Martinez Negrette, G. D. C. (2019). Review: L. Cibils' Immigration, motherhood and parental involvement: narratives of communal agency in the face of power asymmetry. Peter Lang, 2017. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 40(6), 967-969.  link >

Smolarek, B. B., & Martinez Negrette, G. (2019). “It’s Better Now”: How Midwest Niceness Shapes Social Justice Education. In A. E. Castagno (Ed.), The Price of Nice: How Good Intentions Maintain Educational Inequity (pp. 218-237). University of Minnesota Press.

Karabon, A., Martinez Negrette, G. D. C., Smith, M., & Wager, A. (2017). “Tengo toda la receta acá”: Developing mathematical agency in young emergent bilinguals. In Equitable Access: A Common Goal of High-Quality Learning in Grades PreK-2 (pp. 27-42). National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Negrette, G. M. (2017). Teacher, Learner, and Cultural Crosser: A Critical Reflection on the Construction of My Identity. In P. W. Orelus (Ed.), Language, Race, and Power in Schools: A Critical Discourse Analysis (pp. 104-115). (Routledge Research in Education). Routledge.  link >


Dissertation Award Competition-Honorable Mention (AERA - Latina/o/x Research Issues Special Interest Group (SIG) )

National Academy of Education/Spencer Fellowship (National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation)

Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Graduate Award (The Morgridge Center for Public Service, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Zillman Summer Research Award (The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Future Faculty Fellow (The Teaching Academy-University of Wisconsin-Madison)

TESOL Professional Development Scholarship (TESOL International Association)

Graduate School Honors Award (New Mexico State University)


CI 433: Foundations of Bilingual Education (CI 433) Analyzes historical, political, and educational influences on bilingual/ESL education in US. Theoretical foundation of bilingual and ESL programs are examined as well as the effectiveness of program models in promoting academic achievement. Meets standards and course requirements for the Illinois State Board of Education Teaching Approval and Endorsement for Bilingual and ESL teachers.

CI 446: Culture in the Classroom (CI 446) Explores cultural, political, and social factors that affect learning and teaching. Introduces students to the fields of educational anthropology and multicultural education and to the application of cultural information to curriculum development and classroom practice. The 3-hour undergraduate version and 4-hour graduate version meet the Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students requirement for Bilingual and/or ESL Teaching Approval or Endorsement from the Illinois State Board of Education.

CI 517: Bilingual and English as a Second Language Assessment (CI 517) Explores the role of assessment in education of culturally and linguistically diverse students in K - 12 classrooms. Current trends in assessment in the United States will be analyzed as well as how assessments are used for the identification and placement of bilingual and ESL students. The use and scoring of language proficiency assessments will be examined along with various forms of classroom-based assessment. Meets ISBE assessment requirements for a bilingual and ESL teaching approval or endorsement.

CI 562: Linguistics and the School Curriculum (CI 562) Analyzes linguistics for the school curriculum including dialect diversities, use of language in social contexts, and variations in oral and written forms of language. Gives attention to classroom discourse in US and international settings, and ethnography of communication.