Dr. Mellom holds a Ph.D. in linguistics specializing in second language acquisition and educational linguistics. She has more than 30-years experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse learners in the United States and Central America. She works primarily with pre and inservice teachers to develop their ability to make academic content accessible to linguistically and culturally diverse learners in face-to-face, hybrid and virtual spaces. Her qualitative analysis explores the role of collaborative, conversation-based instruction in identity construction, and cognitive and linguistic development.

Her current research interests are:

Development of research-based tools to facilitate K-12 teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive, collaborative, conversation-based pedagogy
Qualitative analysis of the constructed responses of elementary students to examine the impact of a culturally responsive, collaborative, conversation-based pedagogy on student writing Analysis of face-to-face and online interventions on the development of teacher Professional Learning Communities Critical discourse analysis of written logs of teachers exploring their attitudes towards English language learners Discourse analysis of college application essays of English language learning high school students - examining issues of identity and how they index themselves and others

Areas of Expertise

  • Discourse Analysis
  • Ethnographic Methods
  • Second-Language Acquisition


  • Discourse and Identity


  •  PhD in Linguistics, 2006
    University of Georgia
  •  AB in English and Spanish, 1988
    Occidental College


 706-542-3415 (office)



With a Little Help From My Friends: Conversation-based Instruction for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Classrooms
Grounded in research-based practice, this book helps all teachers make classroom learning more interactive and conversation-based. Drawing on their work with more than 800 teachers and administrators from 29 school districts and tow countries, the authors present a pedagogical model that challenges teachers to promote emotionally safe classroom environments, activate the assets they and their students bring to the classroom and modify the way they plan and implement their lessons to better support the linguistic, cognitive, and social-emotional development of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students The text includes teacher-tested tools for lesson planning and for scaffolding collaborative student leaning activities across grade levels and content areas.
  • Mellom, PJ; Hixon, RK; Weber, JP
  • Teachers College Press

Awards and Accolades

Rotary Scholar

Rotary International, 1993

Service Learning Fellow

University of Georgia, 2016

"Adelante" International Education Award

University of Georgia, 2014