Lydiah Kiramba, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education

Lydiah Kiramba received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, her master’s degree in African studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, her second master’s degree in African linguistics, and her bachelor’s degree in education from Moi University, Kenya.

Kiramba is an educational linguist who studies second and additional language acquisition and literacy development. She employs sociocultural and cognitive theories to understand how emergent bilinguals or multilinguals acquire an additional language and how their linguistic resources are/can be exploited in the development of language and literacy. Kiramba has extensive professional training in second language acquisition and teacher education and bilingual literacy development. She also has extensive experience in teaching teachers of English language learners in Kenya and the U.S.

Kiramba has conducted classroom research related to acquisition of second and additional languages that has implications for teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Her recent research focused on communicative practices of emergent multilingual and multicultural students in super-diverse classrooms. She examined how multilingual learners and teachers negotiate restrictive language policies, including how students demonstrate their knowledge of literacy through trans-languaging practices and other multimodal literacies. Kiramba also examined teachers’ and students’ views about their communicative repertoires, and how these views are shaped by the wider social, economic and political context. Her recent research has been published in International Multilingual Research Journal and International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

Kiramba’s current research interests are in learning and teaching in linguistically and culturally diverse settings in Nebraska. With increased immigration, there are different language varieties represented in these classrooms. Cognizant of diversity in these populations, her current research interests includes investigating the communicative practices among emergent multilingual early adolescent children who are English language learners. She is also interested in learning how individuals (students and teachers) develop an understanding of diversity and respond to language and literacy needs of immigrant populations, given the changing perspectives in teacher education to embrace multilingualism.