Nayalin Pinho Feller


Nayalin Pinho Feller is a scholar from Brazil. She currently holds a post-Doctoral degree in Teacher Education and applied Language Studies from the University of Porto. She also holds a Ph.D. in Language, Reading and Culture from the University of Arizona (2015) and a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction/TESOL from New Mexico State University (2010). Her areas of expertise are bilingual and multicultural education, teacher preparation at the Early Childhood and Elementary levels, translanguaging, and TESOL.


Nayalin currently is a Lector at the Language and Culture Department at the University of Aveiro. She teaches English to both undergraduate students (beginners) and doctoral students (English for Academic Purposes). From November/2018 to September 2020, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Porto. She completed her degree in Teacher Education and Applied Language Studies, having during these past four years taught English at different international and bilingual schools in Porto and Cascais.

In the United States, in the 2015/2016 academic year, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico – Gallup, within the Early Childhood Multicultural Education Department. With a Native American population of nearly 79 percent, the 2-year college serves both the Navajo Nation and the Pueblo of Zuni in addition to serving other populations, such as Hispanics, Philippine, Black, European Americans, and so on. Besides teaching nine different courses at the program, she also supervised a very diverse group of students during their practicum and collaborated with other staff during her stay there.

During her doctoral degree, she was a student, a researcher, an instructor, and an administrative staff at the University of Arizona in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies. She worked in a grant-funded project for five years, the Communities as Resources in Early Childhood Teacher Education Project (CREATE). The Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher Preparation programs at the University of Arizona focus on building strong relationships among the university, public schools, and the community and families they serve. Her role as a researcher/ staff at CREATE was to participate in longitudinal research and data collection focusing on documenting the development and learning processes of the preservice Early Childhood major students by organizing and participating in home engagements, interviewing preservice teachers to participate in the redesigning process of the curriculum, and helping interview potential preservice teachers prior to their entrance to the program. She also taught two of the new developed courses, Cultural Pluralism for Young Children and Early Language and Literacy Development. In addition to teaching the ECE courses, she taught the Children’s Literature in the Classroom course for two years and the Structured English Immersion course (in the online format) in the Elementary Teacher Education Program.

During her master’s degree (August/2007 to May/2010), she was a research and teaching assistant at Myrna’s Children’s Village Early Childhood Center, working as the head librarian for two and a half years with children from 0-6 years old in addition to co-coordinating the field placement for Early Childhood pre-service teachers at the New Mexico State University Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Program. Previously, Nayalin lived in Brazil where she taught English for many years privately.

Translanguaging and Scaffolding as Pedagogical Strategies

This study aimed at investigating when, and for which purposes, teachers and pupils translanguaged in a third-grade classroom [8–9 year olds] in a private bilingual school in northern Portugal. It also aimed at highlighting effective scaffolding strategies developed by the teachers in the Natural and Social Sciences (NSS) and English Language (EL) lessons. Data analysis was performed qualitatively by analysing language use in fieldnotes from classroom observations, audio recordings of NSS and EL lessons, and a pupil survey and also through content analysis for teachers’ written reflections. A total of 26 categories were derived under different types of translanguaging and scaffolding strategies used both by the teachers and the pupils. It was found that translanguaging was used for the teaching of content and to establish communication, and it was both teacher-directed and pupil-directed. Findings have implications for educators when considering how translanguaging can be used as a pedagogical tool in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) classrooms.


Bilingualism, Biliteracy, and Biculturalism among Young Children

The purpose of her study was to document and analyze the socialization practices used by and with Mbya Guarani children (first and third graders) in the Tekoá Marangatu Indigenous reservation in Imaruí, Brazil, particularly within the school and community contexts. The overarching goal of her dissertation study was to explore the role of Indigenous children’s socialization processes in the development of bilingualism, biliteracy, or biculturalism within the school environment and how the bilingual school supports or hinders the development of the Guarani language. Through the use of narrative inquiry, she demonstrated how the role of translanguaging and the role that peers took in the socialization processes of these children were some of the important findings of the study. Her study highlighted how children can develop literacy at different levels depending on the social context around them, on their peers and on the pedagogical practices of their teachers. Her research resulted in an unpublished thesis and a book chapter published in Australia.

Teacher Education

Whilst many teacher preparation programmes recognize the need to better prepare preservice teachers to work with diverse populations, several approaches taken by universities to better prepare future teachers to work with linguistically minority children have stopped short of their goals. Approaches taken by teacher preparation programmes to better prepare future teachers to work with the linguistically diverse have included initiatives to increase the sociocultural competence of preservice teachers and to equip preservice teachers with instructional strategies that promote learning within diverse populations. The purpose of her study (as part of a larger research project, CREATE and in partnership with two other researchers, Dr. Iliana Reyes and Dr. Anna Christina Iddings) was to examine how preservice teachers, from a funds of knowledge perspective, in a community-based early childhood teacher preparation programme learned about the language and (bi)literacy development of young English emergent bilinguals. The focus of the analysis entailed an ongoing examination of how preservice teachers’ reflections and the home family literacy interactions helped deepen their understanding of funds of knowledge and cultural practices. They found that their extensive and consistent experiences, interacting with the families for one academic year, allowed them to reflect on how their views of those interactions had evolved. In all cases, the preservice teachers they interviewed commented on how they appreciated having the opportunity to interact with the children, their parents and family in various nonschool-related contexts. This work resulted on a book chapter and an article.

*Peer-reviewed articles

Feller, N. P. (2021). Translanguaging and Scaffolding as Pedagogical Strategies in a Primary Bilingual Classroom. Classroom Discourse.

Reyes, I., DaSilva Iddings, A. C., & Feller, N. P. (2016). Building relationships with diverse students and families: A funds of knowledge perspective. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 16(1), pp. 8-33.

*Book chapters

Feller, N. P. (2022). Translanguaging Classroom Discourse: A Case Study of Scaffolding Strategies in a Bilingual Third Grade Classroom in Portugal. In M. Ellison, M. Morgado, & M. Coelho (Eds.), Contexts and conditions for successful CLIL in Portugal. U.Porto Press.

Feller, N. P. & Vaughan, J. (2018). Language practices of Guarani children in a community-based bilingual school. In G. Wigglesworth, J. Simpson, & J. Vaughan (Eds.), From Home to School: Language Practices of Indigenous and Minority Children. Palgrave MacMillan.

Butler, E. D., Feller, N. P., & DaSilva Iddings, A. C. (2017). Stories that travel: Preservice teachers using photography to understand children ́s funds of knowledge in literacy learning. In A. C. DaSilva Iddings (Ed.), Re-Designing teacher education for culturally and linguistically diverse students: A critical-ecological approach (pp. 136-156). Routledge.


Feller, N. P. (2020). Translanguaging and Scaffolding Strategies: A Case Study in a Primary Bilingual Classroom. (Unpublished postdoctoral dissertation). University of Porto.

Feller, N. P. (2015). Children making meaning of the world through emergent literacies: Bilingualism, biliteracy and biculturalism among the young Indigenous children at Tekoá Marangatu, Brazil. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). The University of Arizona.



Feller, N. P. (2021, January 28). Report on Postdoctoral Research ‘Translanguaging and Scaffolding Strategies: A Case Study in a Primary Bilingual Classroom.’ CETAPS website.


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