Faculty Profiles

Sara Vroom Fick Headshot

Sara Vroom Fick, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Education

On Faculty since 2013


Dr. Vroom Fick came to Wheaton in 2013 after 13 years as an English Language instructor at the middle and high school levels. She teaches courses within the Education and TESOL programs and coordinates the undergraduate endorsement programs for English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education. Her focus is on preparing all teachers to provide holistic language development in multilingual settings.

Dr. Vroom Fick started her career in St. Paul, MN teaching immigrant and refugee students at a public high school. She then spent five years teaching at the International Christian School of Vienna in Austria where she developed and implemented an intensive content-based beginner program for the middle and high school levels. In both locations, she worked in highly multicultural and multilingual classrooms, which developed her interest in culture’s impact on classroom dynamics and multilingual development. She is excited to share these passions and skills with the next generation of educators preparing for increasingly diverse teaching contexts.

In that vein, she is the faculty advisor for the Wheaton College chapter of the Bilingual/ESL Education Student Organization (BESO), regularly completing research and presentations in collaboration with her students.

Dr. Vroom Fick is also the Wheaton College liaison for the Illinois Golden Apple Scholar  program, supporting future educators in their preparation to serve high need schools around the state of Illinois.

She lives in West Chicago with her husband and young son, where they enjoy gardening, searching out global cuisine, and engaging in general toddler antics.

University of Illinois at Chicago
Ph.D., Literacy, Language and Culture 2021

Wheaton College
M.A., Intercultural Studies and TESOL 2012

University of Northwestern-St. Paul
B.A., ESL Education and Bible 2000

  • Multilingual Education  

  • English Language Development   

  • Language Ideologies  

  • Disciplinary Literacy

International TESOL
National Association of Bilingual Education
Literacy Research Association
Illinois Association of Multilingual Multicultural Education
Illinois TESOL-Bilingual Education
English Learners Advocacy Council in Higher Education (IL)

Disrupting Monolingual Perspectives & Practices
Literacies@Chicago Super Saturday. Chicago, IL, March, 2020

Disciplinary Literacy: Connecting Content Area Teachers to Academic Language Development
Illinois Multilingual Conference, Oakbrook, IL, December, 2019

Evaluating texts for cultural and linguistic sustainability.
Leaders in Reading Network Spring Session. St. Paul, MN, May 2018

Issues and models for English language learners in international schools
International TESOL Convention, Chicago, IL, March 2018

Helping parents support their children’s bilingual language development
ESL Ministry Conference, Chicago, IL, September 2017

Giving voice to students’ identity development
Illinois Association for Multilingual Multicultural Education Conference, Oak Brook, IL, December 2016

Biliteracy development in multilingual general education classrooms
Symposium presented at the Literacy Research Association Annual Conference Carlsbad, CA, December, 2015

Techniques for teaching English to younger children throughout the world
Research presented at the International TESOL Convention, Toronto, ON, March, 2015

Holistic vocabulary instruction
EFL Teachers’ Conference, Jakarta, Indonesia, August 2012

Teaching language through content: Supporting the success of EL students in content classrooms
International Christian Educators’ Conference, Kandern, Germany, April 2010

  • EDUC 136 Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
  • EDUC 136L Cross-Cultural Tutoring Practicum
  • LING 224 Theoretical Foundations of Language Acquisition
  • LING 326 EL Methods for the Content Area Teacher
  • LING 328L ESL Practicum
  • Student Teaching Supervision
  • Native language development
  • Language and identity
  • Culture’s impact on classroom dynamics
  • Language Policy Development
  • Content based language education

Leveraging language: Teacher-identified influences on their use of linguistically responsive teaching, Dissertation completed at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Cross-cultural perspectives on teaching English as a foreign language to children: A multinational survey, TESOL Journal Seaman, A. & Vroom, S.

Passport to Adventure: Explore C Level Student Book, Teacher Book, Blackline Masters, Audio CDs. Colorado Springs: Purposeful Design Publications. Vroom, S. & Seaman, A., 2014. 

Writing skills: Exploring cultural influences and classroom applications, ITBE Link
Markely, H., Sappington, K., & Vroom, S., 2012.