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Ruslana Westerlund

Commissioner, Rhode Island Department of Education

Ruslana is a former ESL teacher, college professor, and researcher. Her research area is disciplinary literacies. She conducted research in 3rd and 4th grade ESL and Dual Immersion classrooms working with science, social studies, and ELA content areas. Most recently she was a researcher at WIDA and worked on the WIDA 2020 ELD Standards and the Framework for Equitable Instruction. She consults with districts nationally building teacher capacity in providing MLs access to disciplinary literacies using Systemic Functional Linguistics.  Her publications appear in ASCD, Language Magazine, MinneTESOL, and Journal of English Learner Educators (JELE).  She is a co-editor of Scaffolding Language for Multilingual Students in Elementary and Secondary Classrooms. She also published a cross-cultural memoir chronicling her journey of her transcultural identity as a Ukrainian immigrant called From Borsch to Burgers: A Cross-Cultural Memoir. She received her EdD in Educational Leadership from Bethel University, focusing on teacher sensemaking of English language standards.

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