Margarita Gomez, Ph.D.

Margarita Gomez Zisselsberger

Associate Professor of Literacy Education 
Beatty Hall 121-7

“Through dialogue, reflecting together on what we know and do not know, we can then act critically to transform reality.” Paolo Freire


Doctor of Philosophy Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Curriculum and Instruction: Language, Learning & Literacy.

Master of Science in Education
State University of New York at Binghamton
Reading and Literacy.

California CLAD Teaching Credential California State University, Los Angeles

Bachelor of Arts Political Science and Communications
Boston College, Boston, MA.


Margarita Gomez is an associate professor of literacy education at Loyola University Maryland, where she teaches courses in assessment and instruction of literacy and second language and literacy development. Her research aims to better understand how classroom contexts play a critical role for culturally and linguistically diverse students’ writing development. Margarita earned her doctoral degree in Language, Learning, and Literacy from Boston College, and was previously a bilingual elementary school teacher in California and an inclusive elementary teacher in New York.

Research Interest

Gomez's research interests have centered on: 1) understanding the writing development of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD)  learners and 2) improving the literacy achievement of CLD students in urban settings. I am particularly interested in developing assessment tools that measure the cultural and linguistic competencies that multilingual and multicultural students bring to schooling. Margarita serves as the mentor at Archbishop Borders K-8 Dual Language Community School in Baltimore, as well as several national editorial review boards for language and literacy journals.

Honors and Awards

National Council of Teacher of English, Cultivating New Voices 2010
National Reading Conference, Outstanding Research Award 2008
Boston College, Dissertation Fellowship Award 2008
Boston College, Summer Dissertation Development Award 2007

Recent Publications

Peer Reviewed Academic Articles/Book Chapters/ Monographs 

Lewis, M. & Zisselsberger, M. (2016). Identifying the writing assets of emerging bilingual students: Toward preparing preservice English teachers for equitable assessment. In de Oliveira, L. & Schoffner, M. (Eds.), ELA teachers and ELL students: Preparing English language arts teachers to teach English language learners. UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

Zisselsberger, M. (2016). Toward a More Humanizing Pedagogy: Leveling the Cultural and Linguistic Capital of Students in a Fifth-Grade Writing Classroom. Bilingual Research  Journal, 39, 121-137.

Zisselsberger, M. & Collins, K. (2016). Whose language is legit? Intersections of race, ethnicity and language. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 19, 51-61.

Scanlan, M. & Zisselsberger, M. (2015). The formation of communities of practice in
a network of schools serving culturally and linguistically diverse students. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 20, 58-78.

Avalos, M., Zisselsberger, M., Langer-Osuna, J. & Secada, W. (2015).  Building teacher knowledge for Mathematics academic literacy and language acquisition: A framework for cross-disciplinary professional development. In D. Molle, E. Sato, T. Boals, & C. Hedgspeth(Eds.), Multilingual learners and academic literacies: Sociocultural contexts   of literacy development in adolescents. New York: Routledge.

Zisselsberger, M., Assaf, L., Singh, S. (2012). Delving into third space: Supporting writing
development in multilingual and multicultural settings. Writing and Pedagogy 4 (1), 69- 97.

Recent Invited Publications

Zisselsberger, M. (2017). Exploring the process of developing written mathematical explanations in a culturally and linguistically diverse fifth grade classroom. Journal of Literacy and Social Responsibility, 9, 26-41.

Zisselsberger, M. (2014). Empowering writers in today’s K-6 classroom. Reading Today, 32(1) 23-25.

Under Review

Avalos, M., Zisselsberger, M. & Gort, M. (revise and resubmit). "Hey! Today I will tell you about the water cycle!": Variations of Language Features in Third Grade Science Explanation Writing. Elementary School Journal.


Recent Conference Papers/Presentations

Zisselsberger, M. & Ramos González, G. (2016, April). Assessing emerging bilinguals’ writing from a holistic lens in an elementary dual language context. Roundtable presentation at the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.

Lewis, M. & Zisselsberger, M. (2016, April). An examination characterizing teacher talk in book club discussions for diverse middle school students. Poster presentation at the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.

Zisselsberger, M. & Lewis, M. (2016, April). Going beyond monolingual borders to equitably assess bilingual writing. Paper presentation at the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Baltimore, MD.

Ramos-Gonzalez, G. & Zisselsberger, M. (2016, March). Building a professional learning
community around writing development within an elementary dual language program. Paper presentation at the California Association of Bilingual Education, San Francisco, CA.

Lewis, M. & Zisselsberger, M. (2015, December).  Grappling with equitable assessment: Content area teachers’ analysis of emerging bilinguals’ writing. Roundtable presented at Literacy Research Association, Carlsbad, CA.

Professional Activities/Society Memberships

Cultivating New Voices (2010-2012) 2010-2012 Cohort
Literacy Research Association Member since 2008
National Council for the Teachers of English Member since 2007
American Educational Research Association Member since 2004
American Association of Applied Linguistics Member since 2006
Mass. Assoc. of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages Member since 2008