Bilingual/Bicultural Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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A Letter from the BBE Program

Dear Prospective Student:
If any of these questions or similar ones describe you, we urge you to continue exploring our program.

The Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education focuses on promoting multilingualism worldwide.  We specifically prepare educators to promote multilingualism through the exploration of issues of learning and teaching in more than one language.  Language allows us to codify our worlds in a dynamic way.  The use of more than one language in instruction calls for new ways of teaching and learning as the multiple languages represent different cultures and worldviews that have converged within a social space.

We value the heritage languages of the children and communities we service. 

Literacy as we understand it represents not only the decoding and encoding of words and knowledge but also the codified legacies of a people. Thus, we believe that in educational institutions we must work with multiple literacies, that of the school, the community, and the home. Legacies, however, have more than one medium -- they are more than print.  They can also be experienced through oral, visual, and emotive means.  They are also constitutive of identities that need to be explored as part of the settings we work in.  All of the different means are, moreover, embedded in power structures that we also have to explore within the individual and the society we live in.

The diversity of the city of New York is a source of inspiration for us to craft our instruction in ways that take advantage and mine its resources. So, that while we concentrated on the major language minority groups of the city -- Spanish speakers and Chinese speakers -- we have something to say and contribute to other settings in which the co-existence and intermingling of languages occur around the world

Please be our guest and explore the program website postings. Please send questions you may still have to our Academic Program Secretary, Lauren Wyner, at

We leave you with the hopes that we can respond to your questions. We look forward to seeing your admissions forms in the near future, and hope to see you in our classrooms in the coming semesters.


The Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education

Please note that Prof. Garcia has left Teachers College and is now working at the Graduate Center of the CUNY. If you need to contact her, please email her at
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