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Kate Menken - Research Fellow

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Kate Menken is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), and a Research Fellow at the Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the CUNY-New York State Initiative for Emergent Bilinguals (NYSIEB) project (, and Associate Editor/Review Editor for the journal Language Policy. Previously, she was a researcher at the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education and an English as a second language teacher. She holds an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University and was first place recipient of Outstanding Dissertation Awards from the National Association for Bilingual Education and the American Educational Research Association. Her research interests include language education policy, bilingual education, and emergent bilinguals in secondary schools. Recent books are English Learners Left Behind: Standardized Testing as Language Policy (Multilingual Matters, 2008) andNegotiating Language Policies in Schools: Educators as Policymakers (co-edited with Ofelia García, Routledge, 2010). Her work also appears in several journals, including International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Language Policy, Theory into Practice, Bilingual Research Journal, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Educational Leadership, and International Multilingual Research Journal. Further information can be found on her website:

Laura Ascenzi-Moreno - Research Associate

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Laura Ascenzi-Moreno is an Assistant Professor and Bilingual Program Coordinator in the Childhood, Bilingual, and Special Education Department at Brooklyn College.  She received her doctorate in Urban Education from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2012.  Prior to becoming a professor, she was a dual language, bilingual teacher and coach in New York City public schools for more than a decade.  Her research is focused on the literacy development of emergent bilingual students, the development of teacher knowledge, and how both of these intersect with equity.  Her research interests also include translanguaging, multi-modalities, assessment, and school governance.  She conducts case studies of teachers and schools to study the lived worlds of children and teachers.  She was also an Associate Investigator for the City University of New York New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals (CUNY-NYSIEB) from 2012-16.  Her publications can be found in Literacy Research and Instruction, Language and Education, Schools: Studies in Education, and Language Arts.

Jennifer Chard - Research Associate

Jennifer Hamano is a PhD candidate in the Linguistics Program at the Graduate Center and the administrative assistant for RISLUS. Please direct any general inquiries to Jennifer at

Ofelia García - Research Associate

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Ofelia García is Professor in the Ph.D. program of Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has been Professor of Bilingual Education at Columbia University´s Teachers College, and at The City College of New York; and has been Dean of the School of Education at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. García has published widely in the areas of sociology of language, language policy, bilingualism, and bilingual education. She is the General Editor of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language and the co-editor of Language Policy (with H. Kelly-Holmes). Among her best-known books are Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective; and Translanguaging; Language, Bilingualism and Education (with Li Wei), which received the 2015 British Association of Applied Linguistics Award. For more information visit

Elaine Klein - Research Associate


Dr. Elaine C. Klein is Associate Professor of linguistics at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she is co-director (with Gita Martohardjono) of the Second Language Research Laboratory.

Professor Klein teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, second language acquisition, research methods, and English syntax, among other topics. The recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at Queens College (2002), Professor Klein specializes in teaching graduate courses in the Masters program in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, preparing teachers for certification in New York State schools. Her courses include English syntax, research methods and second language acquisition. At the same time, she teaches in the linguistics program at the Graduate Center, including second language acquisition, second language literacy, research methods and sociolinguistics. A former New York City elementary and high school teacher, Professor Klein has focused her research on the development of non-native syntax and, more recently, on literacy among non-native speakers of English.

Professor Klein has given presentations at national and international conferences and has published two books and numerous papers on theoretical issues in her field. She has also been closely involved in the improvement of second language instructional practices and has conducted professional development workshops to teachers and administrators of English language programs in Mexico, Cyprus and Viet Nam. Closer to home, she has done staff development and created literacy curricula in NYC high schools for College Now!, an initiative to help high school students prepare for higher education. As Co-PI on the RISLUS SIFE project (with Gita Martohardjono), she has recently focused on the academic challenges faced by emergent bilinguals in the New York City schools, particularly those who come to school with special literacy needs. Since 2011, Prof Klein has been the principal investigator in a large project called Bridges to Academic Success, which addresses the language and literacy needs of adolescent newcomers to secondary schools in school districts around New York State.  The project, funded by the New York City Department of Education and the New York State Education Department, promotes bilingualism and bi-literacy among students whose native language literacy is minimal and who need specialized support to graduate from high school. 

Professor Klein received her Ph.D in Linguistics from the City University of New York, with a specialization in second language acquisition. She also has an MA in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia.

Funded Projects:

  • Bridges to Academic Success: Accelerating language, literacy and content learning for emergent bilinguals with limited native language literacy
  • Understanding the Student with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE). A longitudinal study of SIFE skills, needs and achievement in different instructional settings.
  • Using Temporal Markers in Standard American English.
  • An investigation of reading skills among English language learners in high school.
  • The Role of First language, Age and Intervention in Second Language Acquisition.
  • Beyond Second Language Acquisition: A nine month longitudinal study of the development of English as a second vs. third language among Korean and Spanish speakers in New York City.

Tatyana Kleyn - Research Associate

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Tatyana Kleyn is an Associate Professor and Director of the Bilingual Education and TESOL Programs at The City College of New York.  She is also a  Public Scholar for the New York Council for Humanities.  Tatyana is the recipient of the AERA Bilingual Research SIG Early Career Award.  In 2014-15 she was President of the New York State Association for Bilingual Education (NYSABE) and a Fulbright Scholar in Oaxaca, Mexico.  She served as acting co-PI for the CUNY New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals (CUNY-NYSIEB) that supports administrators in developing school-wide bilingual ecologies.  In 2007 she received an Ed.D. in international educational development at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her dissertation, focused on the intersections of bilingual and multicultural education in Spanish, Haitian, Chinese and Russian bilingual classrooms, earned second place in the Outstanding Dissertation Award for NABE. She is co-editor of “Translanguaging with Multilingual Students: Learning from Classroom Moments” with Ofelia García (Routledge, 2016)  author of “Immigration: The Ultimate Teen Guide” (Scarecrow Press, 2011), co-author of “Teaching in Two Languages: A Guide for K-12 Bilingual Educators” with Adelman Reyes (Corwin Press, 2010). She is the director of the documentaries “Living Undocumented: High School, College and Beyond” and “Una Vida, Dos Países: Children and Youth (Back) in Mexico.” Tatyana has published about the educational of the Garífuna in Honduras and ‘Long-Term English Learners’ in NYC secondary schools (with Kate Menken).  She was an elementary school teacher in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and Atlanta, Georgia.