College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Shelley D. Wong
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, New York
Associate Professor
Center for International Education
Foreign Language and Latin (PK-12)
Teaching Culturally, Linguistically Diverse & Exceptional Learners

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Wong

Phone: (703) 993-3513
Fax: (703) 993-5300
Email: swong1 (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Thompson Hall 1505
4400 University Dr.
MS 1E8
Fairfax, VA 22030


Dr. Shelley Wong is an Associate Professor at George Mason University in Multicultural/ESL/Bilingual Education. She began her teaching career in teaching English at a girls middle school in Hong Kong where she went as a Chinese American to study Cantonese and learn about her cultural roots over thirty years ago. Over the years has taught English as a Second language in adult school, high school, community college, university intensive English programs, and teacher education programs in California, Ohio, New York, and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She has also taught ESL/Bilingual classes for community organizations, churches and trade unions. Before coming to George Mason, Shelley was an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park and an associate professor in the Foreign/Second Language Education with a Specialization in Language, Literacy and Culture at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

She received her BA in Sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz (U.C.S.C.), her California teaching credentials, TESL certificate and MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from UCLA, and her Ed.D. in Applied Linguistics from Columbia Teachers College.

Shelley served on the Board of TESOL from 1996-1999, was Chair of the Teacher Education Interest Section and served on the Sociopolitical Concerns Committee of TESOL 2002-2005. She was the recipient of the TESOL Heinle and Heinle Excellence in Teaching Award, presented in 2003 at the TESOL Annual Convention, Baltimore, Md.

Research Interests

My research investigates multilingual, multimodal learning and literacy for students of all ages, subject matters and (dis)Abilities. Through my research with international and immigrant students, I have identified four features of dialogic pedagogy:  1) learning in community 2) problem posing, or learning how to ask 3) learning by doing and 4) knowledge for whom or posing the question, “who does knowledge serve?”  (Wong, 2006).  I am interested in the intersectionality of language, culture and power, particularly at understanding how to identify and overcome the barriers that students who come from communities who have historically been excluded from education due to their race, economic class, ethnicity, religion,  gender and immigration status.   As a professor in applied linguistics and second and foreign language education,  I am particularly interested in Critical Race Theory, Critical Discourse Analysis as tools to identify educational policies and practices which remedy injustice and inequality. 

Recent Publications

Wong, S., Sánchez-Gosnell, E., Foerster-Lu, A. & Dodson, L. (Eds.). (2017) Teachers as Allies: Transformative Practices for Teaching DREAMers and Undocumented Students. New York: Teachers College Press. 

Other Publications:

Examining Education, Media, and Dialogue under Occupation: The Case of Palestine and Israel