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Roma Chumak-Horbatsch

Professor Emeritus
EducationBA, OTC, DCS, MA, PhD
Areas of ExpertiseLanguage acquisition; Childhood bilingualism; Multilingual pedagogy.

Languages matter to Dr. Roma Chumak-Horbatsch. As "Professoressa Emerita" she continues her work in multilingual teaching and learning. She has a background in applied linguistics, bi/multilingualism and language and literacy development. Her research focuses on multilingual teaching, the "go to" pedagogy that is gaining in momentum and popularity in language-rich classrooms worldwide. 

Over the years Dr. Chumak-Horbatsch has worked as a classroom teacher, an educational consultant, a professor, a professional development leader and speaker, a field placement supervisor and a mentor for students (graduate and undergraduate) and teachers. She has also collaborated with settlement workers, speech and language pathologists, families and community leaders. 

Visiting schools and childcare centres has always been an important, and enjoyable part of Dr. Chumak-Horbatsch’s agenda. Never wanting to lose touch with "real" children, she regularly visits classrooms and centres. Directly engaging with children helps her better understand the language-rich teaching and learning dynamic. 

The many multilingual resources Dr. Chumak-Horbatsch has developed are research-based and field-tested. Used by teachers worldwide, they help transform classrooms into multilingual and multi-literate environments. They provide challenging and rich tasks that tap into learners' prior knowledge and their linguistic and literacy skills. They bring newcomers into the curriculum, encourage them to connect with classmates, help them learn the school language in meaningful contexts and give them a sense of purpose and belonging. 

Dr. Chumak-Horbatsch has also shared her work at international, national and local conferences, meetings and workshops. At these meetings, she listens to stories from the field to get a clearer picture of the reality and diversity of teaching and learning in language-rich contexts.


Research interests:

  • Implementing multilingual pedagogy in a K-5 school.
  • Multilingual pedagogy in childcare centres.


  • Chumak-Horbatsch, R. (2012). Linguistically appropriate practice: A guide working with young immigrant children. University of Toronto Press.


  • Chumak-Horbatsch, R. (2017). Instructional practice with young bilingual learners: A Canadian profile. In N. Cabrera & B. Leyendecker (Eds.), Handbook on positive development of minority children and youth (pp. 471-489). Springer.