Q&A with Amanda Roudebush
Title/s: Clinical Assistant Professor
Specialty Area: Bilingual/Bicultural Education
Where’s your hometown?
I’m originally from Long Grove, Illinois, and currently live in Hinsdale, Illinois.
Tell me a little about your research and areas of expertise.
My areas of expertise are in teaching and learning; bilingual, bicultural education; and English-language learners. My research interests include the effects of social service access and utilization on student achievement.
How did you become passionate about these topics? What or who inspired you?
I was working in public education as an editor at an educational publisher on a bilingual team. I began following an NPR series called Education Matters. I learned about teacher shortages and Provisional Bilingual Certification (Type 29). Within months, I passed the Spanish proficiency test and was in a bilingual high school classroom. I quickly found that I enjoyed the role of teacher leader and pursued opportunities to share my knowledge with other staff members. I became a bilingual coordinator and realized that my passion was to advocate for low-income English-language learners and their families. By teaching teachers and teacher candidates what I have learned, I feel I can reach more students and their families.
Why is language so important to you?
As a speaker of multiple languages, an early research interest of mine was cognitive benefits of bilingualism. I believe that our education system would benefit from promoting more bilingualism and biliteracy.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The opportunity to share my knowledge with teachers and teacher candidates is so rewarding, because I am hopefully reaching more students and their families.
What did you learn from your experience in Mexico, and how does it inform your current work?
I lived and studied in Mexico after living a year in Denmark. I was much better prepared to appreciate and analyze the cultural differences between the US, Denmark, and Mexico after already having lived outside the US. The cultural knowledge that the experience provided is crucial to my work with teachers of culturally and linguistically diverse students.
What course(s) are you instructing?
I’m instructing TLSC 220 (Individualized Assessment and Instruction for Diverse Students) and CIEP 442 (Curriculum Development and Implementation).
What is one concept you want your Loyola students to learn from your course(s)?
For teachers today to reach all students, instructional planning must take into account students’ individual backgrounds and experiences in order to best meet their needs. Candidates should recognize that planning and instruction should begin with cultural and linguistic diversity in mind.