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Dr. Emily Phillips Galloway 

About Me

I am an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody School of Education. Rooted in my experiences as a former middle school reading specialist, my quantitative and qualitative research explores the relationships between school-relevant language development, language expression, and comprehension during middle childhood with a particular focus on linguistically and culturally minoritized learners.


My quantitative studies demonstrate links between school-relevant language and reading and writing performances, revealing the importance of attending to language beyond the word-level in order to support the literacy development of middle school students. My qualitative work situated in classrooms demonstrates the potential for developing these school-relevant language skills through talk that builds on students’ out-of-school language resources (dialectal and additional languages) and that fosters agency in linguistic choice-making.



With the goal of advancing anti-racist pedagogy, my work aims to positions school-relevant language as a semiotic resource for critically examining inequality, envisioning change, fostering learner agency, and nurturing minoritized learners’ socioemotional, professional, and political aspirations. As a former classroom teacher and reading specialist, I enjoy working alongside teachers and students in classrooms and have led and been engaged with numerous researcher-practitioner partnerships. In particular, with funding from a Lyle Spencer grant from the Spencer Foundation, in collaboration with Dr. Robert J. Jiménez (Professor Emeritus, Vanderbilt University) I led a multi-year classroom-based study to design and refine a middle grades curriculum known as TRANSLATE (Teaching Reading And New Strategic Language Approaches to Emergent bilinguals) that aimed to support the reading comprehension development of multilingual learners by leveraging their existing repertoires of language knowledge and cultural practices, including as translators. This resulted in the creation of a 22-week curriculum, which has been shown in a recent quasi-experimental efficacy study to accelerate the reading comprehension (as captured by standardized measures) of participating students. TRANSLATE materials are available at


With a commitment to advancing research-practice partnerships, I  also work with teachers, school leaders, and administrators in two of the largest urban districts in the United States.


My research has contributed to the publication of two co-authored books: Reimagining Language Instruction: New Approaches to Promoting Equity (Neugebauer, Phillips Galloway, & Dobbs, 2023, Teacher’s College Press) and Leading Advanced Literacy Instruction in Linguistically Diverse Schools: A Guide for Education Leaders (Lesaux, Phillips Galloway, & Marietta, 2016, Guilford Press). My work has also been featured in the Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly, Applied Psycholinguistics and Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, among others. I am a recipient of the AERA-SRCD Early Career Fellowship in Middle Childhood Education and Development (2019-2021). I hold an Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as an M.S.Ed. and B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.


Doctor of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA  (May, 2016)                               

Program in Human Development & Education

Master of Science in Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (2006)

Program in Reading, Writing and Literacy (Reading Specialist Program)


Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (2005)                                  

Program in History and Sociology of Sciences with a concentration on public policy


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