research | leonor morrow


I’m an applied sociolinguist that primarily researches dominant language ideologies surrounding ‘standard’ English, English dominance, and bilingualism within the United States public education system.

Through my future research, I hope to (1) illuminate language ideologies and their various ramifications within society and (2) explore concrete solutions that attempt to lessen their harmful consequences, especially in classroom settings. | ORCID | My CV

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selected projects

Investigating Accountability: Languages Ideologies & Internalization at a New Mexican High School

This thesis considers the extent to which language ideologies have become internalized in the attitudes of students and teachers at a New Mexican high school. While past literature has thoroughly documented how dominant language ideologies affect students (Flores & Rosa, 2015; Piller, 2016; Wright, 2005 ), this study considers how teachers’ abilities to instigate meaningful change may be compromised as a result of internalized ideologies. By using a discourse analysis framework, this paper highlights the ‘standard’ English, English-only, and bilingual ideologies present at the high school of study through informal interviews with two students and six educators. It then considers the most pressing issues concerning the public education system as expressed by the students and teachers themselves. Lastly, and most importantly, it analyzes the extent to which thoughts and beliefs about language play a role in hindering teachers’ ability to implement potential best practices. In emphasizing the lasting impact of dominant language ideologies on students and teachers alike, this study attempts to understand where accountability for address language-related injustices lies: with students, teachers, school administrators, all of the above, or somewhere else entirely.

Presented at:

Forthcoming. Linguistics and the Public Good, Georgetown University Round Table, March 30, 2019. Washington, DC. [download conference program]

‘Back 2 Good:’ Assessing the Language Accessibility of DC Public Transit

This study examines, through use of the linguistic landscape perspective, how accessible selected DC metro stations are in terms of language. It also takes into account the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) policies on language accessibility, as stated on their website. The DC area is home to a significant number of immigrants and refugees who are deemed limited English proficient (LEP) by the census. As a result, there is a clear demand for multilingual signage. However, out of 74 photos captured across eight different DC metro stations, only 16 (21.6%) contained signs that were multilingual. Moreover, a qualitative analysis of these images shows that the multilingual signage present was often lacking: at times missing pieces of information or heavily favoring the English translation. This points to the need for greater awareness of and commitments toward improving language diversity throughout the DC metro system.

Presented at:

Forthcoming. American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting, April 3-7, 2019. Washington, DC.

Initiative for Multilingual Studies Student Showcase, Georgetown University, March 16, 2018. Washington, DC. [download slides]

Power & Politeness: Assessing Missandei's Role as Interpreter in Game of Thrones

This presentation evaluates the world building capacities of Game of Thrones by 1) considering the complexity of High Valyrian, 2) analyzing a scene from the show that highlights linguistic issues, and 3) assessing whether fans are more aware of language-related issues in the real world as a result of watching the show. By doing this, the author attempts to better understand the impact of the media, as well as the importance of constructed languages in creating fictional worlds.

Presented at:

Colloquium for Social Sciences and Humanities, Georgetown University, April 13, 2018. Washington, DC. [download slides]