Robert Randez’s research focuses on the learning of languages and the development of agency and identity by neurodivergent multilingual children

Robert Randez, a fourth-year student in Michigan State University’s Second Language Studies (SLS) PhD program, is an educational linguist interested in the experiences of neurodivergent multilinguals and those who teach them. Prior to joining the SLS program, Robert received his BA and MA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and has taught learners in ESL, EFL, higher education, and refugee service. Robert’s scholarship falls within teacher education, language policy and practice, and (post)qualitative methodology.

Robert’s recent work includes assisting at MSU’s Enhance Digital Learning Initiative (EDLI). The EDLI is a collaboration of educators in the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Business and Natural Science, MSU Libraries, and MSU IT. Their mission includes enhancing the educational experience at MSU in humane and practical ways while using a values-driven approach to develop and evaluate digital pedagogies and technologies for 21st-century learning. Robert is also currently serving on the AAAL 2023 conference planning committee, where he is helping Dr. Peter De Costa with program development. He will further assist Dr. Ryuko Kubota the year after with planning the 2024 AAAL conference in Houston.

Robert is also currently working on his dissertation, tentatively titled “Expectation vs. Perceived Readiness: Using Social System Theory to Understand Actor Agency in Teacher Education”. His dissertation seeks to understand how state ESL standards shape the preparation of preservice teachers, specifically the preparation to work with multilinguals with special needs. Using short story narrative inquiry, Robert interviews administration, course instructors, and pre-service teachers to understand how they understand their role in the preparation process through social systems theory. Social system theory understands society as a series of independent systems constructed through individual sense-making. His findings show that preparation is less dependent on institutional (top-down & linear) than on how stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities.

Currently, Robert is a member of the Michigan Seal of Biliteracy Committee, a group which was created to recognize High School graduates who exhibit language proficiency in English and at least one additional world language. He has also taught undergraduate courses on second and foreign language teaching methods at MSU.