Monterey Institute for English Learners

About the Director

Suzanne Garcia

Dr. Suzanne García, Associate Professor and M.I.E.L Director

Suzanne García is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education and Leadership and the Director of the Monterey Institute for English Learners (M.I.E.L.) at California State University – Monterey Bay. Since 2019 she has coordinated and expanded the Bilingual Authorization program. She also is Co-Director of El centro, CSUMB's first Center for Latine Student Success.

In 2016 she received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Bilingual and Bicultural Education and completed a portfolio with the Mexican American Studies program at the University of Texas at Austin. Suzanne received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Texas at Austin and her M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a minor in Language Arts.

As a professor, Suzanne teaches courses focused on culturally and linguistically diverse students embedding bilingual education theories and models to the courses she teaches. Each course is framed using a strengths perspective, which assumes that students have multiple literacies that are the foundation of their learning. Part of affirming all student’s literacy practices includes drawing attention to the social inequities experienced by minoritized language communities.

Her research examines the intersection of race, language, ethnicity, and class in the two-way dual language classroom and problematizes the merging of “Spanish-speaking “and “English-speaking” students with distinct goals in becoming bilingual and bicultural. Specifically, she draws from discourse analysis methods to examine how teachers and students co-construct their own and each other’s bilingual identities. She recently completed two research projects which included interviewing Latine parents about the cultural and language practices they draw on to raise bilingual children and examining pre-service teachers language ideologies about Latinx emergent bilingual students. She is part of the editorial board for the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education. Suzanne has been published in the Modern Language Journal, Journal of Language Identity and Education,The Urban Review and The Monterey Herald. Her dissertation, which examined the intersection of language, identity, class and race of a cohort of students over the course of four years (Kindergarten to 3rd grade) in a gentrifying two-way immersion dual language program, won an American Educational Research Association, Bilingual Education Research SIG, Dissertation Award in 2018.