"Stealth" Faculty Development in Adopting Plurilingual Dispositions: Collaboration on a Student Conference on Language

Document Type

Contribution to Books

Publication Date



In my first semester as an assistant professor and director of the brand new English Language Learner Program in 2001, I embedded what has come to be known as the Boise State Conference on Language, Identity, and Culture (here-after, "the Conference") into a developmental ESL writing course. The position I accepted, a tenure-track faculty position in the English Department, was new in 2001 and required second-language writing experience. It was also described as having an administrative focus on advocating for multilingual students and designing and implementing new programs to support their success across campus. Because of the campus-wide scope of the program, which I had renamed English Language Support Programs, I wanted the Conference to be a venue for multilingual students of educate the university not only about their needs as learners of English but also about their expertise as users of multiple languages. The Conference would have a direct or indirect influence on faculty audience members' approaches to language and pedagogy just by their attending. Helping audience members understand what it means to value multilingual students' knowledge and experiences has been one of my primary strategic goals in organizing this set of presentations (Shuck, 2004). However, a few years ago, the Conference took on an unexpected additional role: as an avenue for "stealth" faculty development for instructors who had to learn quickly how to teach fully multilingual classes. While the Conference had long been a venue for educating the campus, a fellow TESOL-trained instructor and I had been the only faculty participants involved in its planning. It had not yet served as a faculty development opportunity beyond the educating of audience members about the presenters' cultural and linguistic contributions to the larger campus community.