Elaine C. Klein is Associate Professor of Linguistics Emerita at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, (GC) where she is presently a Senior Research Associate with the Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS) and a Senior Principal Investigator at CASE. Professor Klein received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the GC, with a specialization in second language acquisition. Having taught CUNY undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, second language acquisition, research methods, sociolinguistics, and English syntax, among other courses, she also specialized in preparing teachers for certification in the Teaching of English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). A former New York City elementary and high school teacher, Professor Klein has focused her research on second language development and, more recently, on studies of and interventions for immigrant students with special language and literacy needs.
The author of two books and numerous academic papers, Professor Klein has given presentations at national and international conferences in her field. She has also conducted professional development workshops to teachers and administrators of English language programs in Mexico, Cyprus and Viet Nam. The New York City Department of Education (DOE) commissioned Dr. Klein (and her colleague, Dr. Gita Martohardjono) to study a growing, at-risk population of adolescent emergent bilinguals, Students with interrupted/inconsistent formal education (SIFE). Part of this research culminated in the development of a series of SIFE diagnostics in several languages for use in NYC high schools. Another direct result of Dr. Klein’s work on SIFE was the development of an intervention called Bridges to Academic Success, which targets the skills needed for developing language, literacy and academic content knowledge among SIFE with limited literacy in their home languages. The Bridges project, with Dr. Klein as founder and Principal Investigator, now includes a special SIFE Curriculum, a Professional Development component for SIFE teachers and administrators, and a research initiative that focuses on Bridges outcomes. Bridges, funded by the NYC DOE, the New York Community Trust, and the NYS Department of Education, is now operating in several high schools in New York City and in West New York State, with plans for scaling up around the country.
Current Research Projects
Bridges to Academic Success
Understanding Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE)