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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Shakina Rajendram

Shakina Rajendram
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream


Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Research Overview

I am an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream and the Coordinator of the Language Teaching field in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE, University of Toronto. I am also the Course & Curriculum Development Lead for CTL7019 Supporting English Language Learners in the Master of Teaching Program at OISE. My research and teaching focus on second language learning, teacher education, and supporting multilingual learners in K-12 and higher education contexts through translanguaging and multiliteracies pedagogies. My current research projects investigate: (1) the role of mainstream teacher education in preparing teacher candidates to support multilingual learners in K-12 classrooms in Ontario, Canada; (2) supporting the language and literacy development of K-12 learners online through digital translanguaging and multiliteracies activities such as linguistic landscapes, spoken word poetry and identity texts; (3) supporting multilingual international students in Canadian universities through translanguaging pedagogies; and (4) a comparative study of translanguaging practices among K-12 teachers in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong and China. My research projects utilize both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, and strive to bridge language and literacies as they pertain to multilingual learners. My research is motivated by my experiences working as an elementary teacher in Malaysia, and with linguistically and culturally diverse learners in secondary and post-secondary contexts in Canada.

Academic History

PhD in Language & Literacies Education (with a collaborative specialization in Comparative, International & Development Education), OISE, University of Toronto, Canada, 2019
MA in Special Needs (with Distinction), University of Nottingham, England, 2013
BEd in Teaching English as a Second Language (with First Class Honours), University of Exeter, England, 2010

Teaching Overview

CTL 3002H Second Language Teaching Methodologies (LLE program)
CTL 3003H Planning and Organizing the Second Language Curriculum (LLE program)
CTL 3001H Research Colloquium in Language & Literacies Education (LLE program)
CTL 5305H Academic English for Language & Literacies Educators (LLE program)
CTL 3039H Academic English Research & Acquisition (LLE program)
CTL 7019H Supporting English Language Learners (MT program)

Representative Publications

Rajendram, S. (2021). Translanguaging as an agentive pedagogy for multilingual learners: Affordances and constraints. International Journal of Multilingualism
Rajendram, S., Larson, E., & Sinclair, J. (2019). International graduate students’ perspectives on high-stakes English tests and the language demands of higher education. Language and Literacy, 21(4), 68-92. 
Eisazadeh, N. & Rajendram, S. (2020). Supporting young learners through a multimodal digital storytelling activity. Journal of Early Childhood Education Research [Special Issue – Digital Technologies and Early Childhood], 9(1), 76-98.
Burton, J., & Rajendram, S. (2019). Translanguaging-as-resource: ESL instructors’ language orientations and attitudes towards translanguaging. TESL Canada Journal [Special Issue – Language and Higher Education], 36(1), 21-47.
Stagg Peterson, S. & Rajendram, S. (2019). Teacher-child and peer talk in collaborative writing and writing-mediated play: Primary classrooms in northern Canada. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 42(1), 28-39.
Stagg Peterson, S. S., Rajendram, S., & Eisazadeh, N. (2019). Multimodal meaning-making during play in two northern Canadian Indigenous kindergarten classrooms. Early Years, 39(4), 392-407. 
Sinclair, J., Larson, E. J., & Rajendram, S. (2019). “Be a machine”: International graduate students’ narratives around high-stakes English tests. Language Assessment Quarterly, 16(2), 236-252.
Karram Stephenson, G., & Rajendram, S. (2019). “This barrier between”: The ethnic divisions of higher education in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. Higher Education, 7(5), 889-903. 
Stagg Peterson, S. S., Eisazadeh, N., Rajendram, S., & Portier, C. (2018). Young children’s language uses during play and implications for classroom assessment. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 43(2), 23-31.
Eisazadeh, N., Rajendram, S., Portier, C., Stagg Peterson, S. (2017). Indigenous children’s use of language during play in rural northern Canadian kindergarten classrooms. Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, 66(1), 1-16.
Rajendram, S., & Govindarajoo, M. V. (2016). Responding to literature texts through films in English and the L1. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 5(2), 56-63. 
Rajendram, S. (2015). Potentials of the multiliteracies pedagogy for teaching English Language Learners (ELLs): A review of the literature. Critical Intersections in Education, 3, 1-18. 
Rajendram, S. (2021). The affordances of translanguaging as a pedagogical resource for multilingual English language classrooms in Malaysia. In K. M. Bailey & D. Christian (Eds.). Research on teaching and learning English in under-resourced contexts (pp. 185-198). Routledge & TIRF.
Gagné, A., Rajendram, S., & Wattar, D. (in press). Working toward equity and engagement in an online course for future K-12 teachers. In I. Fayed & J. Cummings (Eds.). Teaching in the post COVID-19 era: World education dilemmas, teaching innovations and solutions in the age of crisis. Springer.
Rajendram, S. (2020). A pedagogy of multiliteracies and its role in English language education. In J.  K. Shin & P. Vinogradova (Eds.), Contemporary foundations for teaching English as an additional language: Pedagogical approaches and classroom applications (pp. 151-159). Routledge.  
Rajendram, S. (2020). Positioning students as language experts through multilingual storytelling activities. In F. D. Floris & W. A. Renandya (Eds.) Inspirational stories from English language classrooms (pp. 75-78). TEFLIN Publication Division.
Burton, J., Wong, W., & Rajendram. S. (2020). Creative multimodal poetry and spoken word activities to support multilingual English language learners in K-12 classrooms. In H. Elsherief & M. Masson (Eds.), Every teacher is a language teacher. (Vol. 1) (pp. 5-25). University of Ottawa Second Language Education Cohort (cL2c).
Karram Stephenson, G., & Rajendram, S. (2017). Expanding access while narrowing outcomes: The paradox of Malaysia’s international branch campuses. In H. C. Alphin Jr., R. Y. Chan, & J. Lavine (Eds.). Exploring the future of accessibility in higher education (pp. 88-103). IGI Global.
Web Publications
Rajendram, S. (2020, February 17). Joint sojourners and co-learners on a plurilingual journey. Belonging, Identity, Language, Diversity Research Group (BILD).
Alaca, Z., Carroll, S., Larson, E., Pries-Klassen, M., Rajendram, S., & Wu, L. (2017). OISE: What’s It Like for You? A report on the Graduate Students’ Association student survey on accessibility & equity. 
Rajendram, S. (2016, May 17). Action Research 102. Caesura Collective. 
Book Notes
Rajendram, S. (2017). Language development: The lifespan perspective, by A. Gerstenberg & A. Voeste (Eds.). Language in Society, 46(1), 118-119.


Research Grants and Contracts

Year: 2022-2024
Source: International Student Experience Fund (ISEF)
Type: Impact Grant ($119,835)
Role: Project Lead
Title: On-Board @ OISE: A Multi-Step Program for Developing Academic Skills For Success And Enhancing International Student Integration And Engagement

Year: 2021-2022
Source: OISE, University of Toronto
Type: SSHRC Institutional Grant
Role: Principal Investigator
Title: A Critical Translanguaging Pedagogy for Higher Education: Perspectives of International Graduate Students from the Global South

Year: 2021-2023
Source: The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Type: SEED Funding Programme for Basic Research
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Dr. Anna Mendoza (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Title: Classroom Approaches to CLIL and Translanguaging Inventory

Year: 2020-2023
Source: International Student Experience Fund (ISEF)
Type: Impact Grant
Role: Collaborator
Principal Investigator: Dr. Eunice Jang (OISE, University of Toronto)
Title: iSSD @ OISE: A Tool for Strengthening the Global Competencies of the OISE International and Domestic Graduate Student Community

Year: 2020-2022
Source: UNITAR International University, Malaysia
Type: Internal Research Grant
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Dr. Mallika Vasugi Govindarajoo (UNITAR International University, Malaysia)
Title: Young Adult Literature: Exploring Elements of Young Adult Literature in Texts Used in Malaysian Secondary Schools

Honours and Awards

Finalist, American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Dissertation Award, 2021
Muriel Fung Student Appreciation Award, OISE, University of Toronto, 2019
Academic Excellence Award, OISE, University of Toronto, 2017-2018
Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award, University of Toronto, 2018
Excellent Teaching Service Award, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, 2013
Top Scholar Award, University of Exeter, England, 2010
Excellent Student Award, University of Exeter, England, 2010
Excellence in Practicum Award, International Languages Teacher Training Institute, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, 2010
Bronze Arts Award, Trinity College London & Arts Council, England, 2008
Best Speaker Award, National Teachers' Debating Championship, Ministry of Education,
Malaysia, 2006