I am a researcher / practitioner with my academic roots in applied linguistics and education. My work focuses on how language policies in educational institutions, both formal and informal, serve as facilitators or barriers to access, inclusion, integration and equitable outcomes. Of particular interest in my work has been how immigrant-receiver nations address broad misconceptions about language learning and multilingualism in their public school systems as they seek to integrate immigrants, guest workers and their children, refugees and unaccompanied minors, as well as the role of native language literacy in second language acquisition. I have worked across the sectors of research, policy and practice in the U.S., Central and South America and in Germany.
Currently I serve in a dual role: as director of research and innovation at Internationals Network for Public Schools, where I lead our efforts nationally to use mixed methods research to examine equity issues for immigrant language minority youth in U.S. public schools, as well as differential impacts of a range of programs and policies on their well-being and academic success. Central to this work is a focus on how language policies in educational settings — both explicit as well as implicit — impact the access and success of language minority youth and their families and how language is used as a stand in for race and other racialized categories to exclude and marginalize different subgroups.
In addition, I serve as an affiliated faculty member in the program for international education and development in the Department of Applied Statistics, Social Science and Humanities at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education, Culture and Human Development, where I teach graduate courses on immigration and education.
My research examines how schools and classroom teachers respond to and adapt their pedagogical approaches to meet the needs of newly arrived immigrants and refugees in their classroom who are new to the host country language and how teachers understand and address widely held beliefs about language and learning. As part of this work, I spend a great deal of time in schools, classrooms and in nonformal or community-based educational settings speaking to students and teachers about how language and meaning are negotiated in the curriculum. I am particularly interested in the explicit and implicit messages and beliefs about minority language speakers in educational settings.
My recent work has taken me to Europe, to Germany in particular, to understand how teachers in settings where dominance in a language other than German has long been considered a problem are facing the challenge of integrating newly arrived immigrant students into their classroom. Speaking to adolescent and young adult students is central to my research as I seek to understand the role of language in identity formation, equity and access.
Areas of Interests
- Language policy and planning
- Second language acquisition
- Linguistic hegemony and linguicism in the curriculum
- Second language writing
- Racialization of minority language speakers
- Immigration history
- Race and racism in educational settings
- Critical race pedagogies
- Qualitative and collaborative methodologies
- Multilingual/multicultural education
- Transnational movement in schools
Selected Relevant Publications
- Wiley, T.G. & Lukes, M. (2015). "English-Only and Standard English Ideologies in the United States." In T. Ricento (Ed.). Language Policy and Planning: Critical Concepts in Linguistics, Vol. III, (pp. 106-129). London: Routledge.
- Lukes, M. (2015). "Latino Immigrant Youth and Interrupted Schooling: Dropouts, Dreamers and Alternative Pathways to College." Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters/Channel View Publications.
- Lukes, M. and Lyons, J. (2015). "Educational Programming for Low-Literate Adult Migrants in the U.S." In Whiteside, A. and Simpson, J., (Eds.) Challenging Agendas: Policy and Practice in Language Education for Adult Migrants. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Lukes, M. (2011). "I Understand English But Can't Write It: The Power of Native Language Instruction for Adult English Learners." International Multilingual Research Journal. Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 19-38.
- Lukes, M. (2009). "We Thought They Had Forgotten Us: Research, Policy and Practice in the Education of Latino Immigrant Adults. Journal of Latinos and Education. Vol 8, No. 2, pp 161-172. Spring 2009.