Katie Bernstein

Asst Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
5411
Assistant Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
5411

Biography

Katie A. Bernstein holds a PhD in language, literacy, and culture with a focus on second language acquisition from UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education. A former early childhood teacher, Bernstein studies the language and literacy practices of linguistically diverse students in classroom settings. Her work examines the social interactions of young children as contexts for second language learning. Additionally, by looking closely at what young children say and do—and how they say and do it—Bernstein's research provides a window into what young students understand about language, literacy, their peers, and themselves. This research is situated at the intersection of education and applied linguistics and draws on ideas from sociocultural theory and practice theory, as well as from postmodern and critical perspectives on language and literacy. Her primary research methods are qualitative, ethnographic, and discourse analytic. Bernstein has been published in TESOL Quarterly, Applied Linguistics Review, and Linguistics and Education. Her dissertation, which examined language learning and identity formation for four emergent bilinguals across their year in pre-kindergarten, won the American Association of Applied Linguistics Best Dissertation Award in 2016.

Education

PhD  Education  UC Berkeley

MA   Education   UC Berkeley

BA   Linguistics   Duke University

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Guiding Research Questions:

  • How do young children's peer interactions contribute to their language learning and their knowledge about languages?
  • What do preschool teachers believe about language learning and linguistic diversity, and how do those beliefs relate to teachers' own histories?

Current Research Projects:

Bernstein is researching preschoolers' peer-to-peer talk about language in two preschool classrooms. Examining children's talk--in combination with data about each classroom's peer social network--will help her understand how children's interactions with multilingual classmates contribute to their knowledge about languages and language learning. 

Bernstein and her colleagues are also conducting research that follows 14 pairs of early childhood classroom teachers as they implement two-way bilingual immersion models in their classrooms for the first time. The study examines the challengesboth material and ideologicalof transitioning to a dual language model. It also investigates the effects of ongoing teacher professional development in drama as a language/literacy teaching technique, measured by outcomes such as student language growth and changes in teachers classroom talk.

Publications

Bernstein, K. A. (2018). The perks of being peripheral: English learning and participation in a preschool classroom network of practice. TESOL Quarterly. aop. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.428

Katznelson, N. & Bernstein, K. A. (2017). Rebranding bilingualism: The shifting discourses  of language education policy in California's 2016 election. Linguistics and Education, 40, 11-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2017.05.002

Bernstein, K.A. (2017). Writing their way into talk: Emergent bilinguals’ emergent literacy practices as pathways to peer interaction and oral language growth. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 17(4), 485-531. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468798416638138

Bernstein, K.A. (2016). “Misunderstanding” and (mis)interpretation as strategic tools in intercultural interaction between pre-school children. Applied Linguistics Review, 7(4), 471-494. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2016-0021 

Research Activity

Courses

Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ECD 321Emerging Language and Literacy
DCI 790Reading and Conference
TEL 792Research
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ECD 321Emerging Language and Literacy
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BLE 220Foundations of SEI
ECD 321Emerging Language and Literacy
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ECD 321Emerging Language and Literacy
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
SPE 317Spec Educ for Cultura/Linguist
ECD 321Emerging Language and Literacy
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ECD 321Emerging Language and Literacy