Photo of Morales, Dr. P. Zitlali

Dr. P. Zitlali Morales

Associate Professor, Curriculum & Instruction

Affiliated Faculty, Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS)


Building & Room:

3234 ETMSW


1040 W. Harrison St. (MC 147), Chicago, IL 60607

Office Phone:

(312) 996-8144


Dr. P. Zitlali Morales is Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction in the College of Education, and affiliated faculty of the Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She examines the language practices of Latina/o/x youth and linguistic interactions of students and teachers in bilingual classrooms. Her research interests include the education of emergent bilingual students, the language ideologies of immigrant communities, theories related to language and identity, and language education policy. Dr. Morales is the co-editor of the book, Transforming Schooling for Second Language Learners: Theoretical Insights, Policies, Pedagogies, and Practices by Information Age Publishing. She is also the coordinator of the Bilingual and ESL endorsement at UIC.

Selected Publications

Pacheco, M., Morales, P. Z., & Hamilton, C. (Eds.) (2019). Transforming schooling for second language learners: Policies, pedagogies, and practices. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Morales, P. Z., Saravia, L. A., & Pérez-Iribe, M. F. (2019). Multilingual Mexican-origin students’ perspectives on their indigenous heritage languages. Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, 13(2), 91-121. doi:10.24974/amae.13.2.430

Morales, P. Z., & Maravilla, J. (2019). The problems and possibilities of interest convergence to advance multilingualism for all. Theory Into Practice. doi:10.1080/00405841.2019.1569377

Morales, P. Z., & Hartman, P. W. (2019). Positioning Spanish-language and African American Language (AAL) speakers as knowledgeable and valuable contributors in the language arts classroom. Theory into Practice, 58(3), 236-245. doi:10.1080/00405841.2019.1607654


Rumenapp, J., Morales, P. Z., & Manfredini Lykouretzos, A. (2018, November). Building a cohesive multimodal environment for diverse learners in the preschool classroom. Young Children, 72-78.

Morales, P. Z., & Rumenapp, J. (2017). Talking about language in pre-school: The use of video-stimulated recall with emergent bilingual children. Journal of Multilingual Education Research, 7(4), 19-42.

Martínez, D. C., Morales, P. Z., & Aldana, U. S. (2017). Leveraging communicative repertoires using classroom discourse analysis as a tool for equitable learning. Review of Research in Education, 41, 477-499. doi:10.3102/0091732X17691741 

Morales, P. Z. (2016). Transnational practices and language maintenance: Spanish and Zapoteco in California. Children’s Geographies, 14(4), 375-389. doi:10.1080/14733285.2015.1057552

Morales, P. Z., Meza, R., & Maravilla-Cano, J. V. (2016). Latin@ students in a changing Chicago: Current disparities and opportunities within public schools. Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, 10(1), 107-129.



2010 - PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Education
1998 - BA, Stanford University, Cultural Anthropology; History (minor)

Research Currently in Progress

Dr. Morales examines the language practices of Latina/o/x youth and linguistic interactions of students and teachers in bilingual classrooms. She views language acquisition from a sociocultural perspective as participants learning to use language through the use of cultural practices, and specializes in additive models of language acquisition for emergent bilinguals. Her current research focuses on preparing teachers to meet their multilingual students' needs by leveraging the language and cultural knowledge that students bring to the classroom. Other research projects include exploring the learner identities of linguistic minority students in Spanish-English dual immersion programs and studying how language ideologies affect the context of schooling for immigrant students and multilingual learners. Dr. Morales is coordinator of the Literacy, Language, and Culture doctoral program in the College of Education. She is affiliated faculty of the Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) program at UIC.