Philip Montgomery’s research examines how collaborative critical reflection about linguistic diversity can shape institutional policies and practice

Philip Montgomery's Photo

Philip Montgomery has been in Michigan State University’s Second Language Studies (SLS) program since August 2020. Before then, he had ten years of teaching and administrative experience. He holds a BA in Spanish Language and Culture from the College of Wooster, and he first taught as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan. There, he taught English and conducted pedagogical workshops about communicative language teaching. Later, he taught middle and high school Spanish in the US, and middle and high school language arts and research writing in Kazakhstan. In 2014 he earned an MEd in Education Policy Studies from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he studied how globalization and internationalization were re-shaping higher education programs. He went on to teach English for Academic Purposes at the university level, where he used language policy and genre pedagogy as frameworks to support multilingual students in English-medium universities. 

In the SLS program, Philip has worked as a Program Assistant for the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) and as a Graduate Coordinator and Assistant Director of the Writing Center at MSU. His work in these spaces has brought together his interests in language learning, academic writing, and program administration. His coursework in the SLS program, in particular those on Language Identity and Ideology in Multilingual Settings (LLT 856) and Educational Linguistics (LLT 841), called attention how teachers’ and students’ and administrators’ language ideologies shape what is considered “normal” practice in educational spaces.

Philip has three recent publications co-written with SLS faculty and students.  “Qualitative ISLA research methodologies and methods” (2022) was co-written with Dr. Peter De Costa, Robert Randez, and Carlo Cinaglia, and appears in an edited volume called Research Methods in Instructed Second Language Acquisition. In another edited volume entitled Communicative Competence in a Second Language: Theory, Method, and Applications, Philip and Dr. Charlene Polio co-authored a chapter called “Applying a communicative competence framework to the study and teaching of second language writing” (2022). Most recently, Philip, Carlo Cinaglia, and Dr. Peter De Costa published a research article “Teaching-as-caring and caring institutions: An ecological view of TESOL teacher well-being” (2023) in The European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL. He has three other pieces in press and five more under review. He regularly shares his work on ResearchGate

Philip’s dissertation is tentatively titled “Writing Center Language Policy: Negotiating Language Ideologies through Tutor Training and Consulting Practices.” The study aims to better understand how language policies promoting linguistic diversity on a university campus are enacted, appropriated, or ignored by those “on the ground”. This ethnographic discourse analysis study includes 1) policy documents like public-facing statements on the center’s website and internal training materials like the employee handbook; 2) biographical interviews with writing center consultants about their experiences with linguistic difference prior to joining the writing center; 3) ethnographic observations of writing center consultations; and 4) critically reflective follow-up discussions with consultants about their evolving values and practices. The dissertation is supported by a grant from the International Writing Center Association.