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Soto, an associate professor of education and child development, coauthored two of the nine chapters of Breaking Down the Wall: Essential Shifts for English Learners’ Success. Her chapters are titled “From Silence to Conversation” and “From Monolingualism to Multilingualism,” and each serves as a call to action for teachers and administrators to help their English Learners (ELs).
The book, published this month, is a first-of-its-kind collaboration that provides educators from small towns to big cities with both research and practical strategies to take first steps toward excellence in educating culturally and linguistically diverse children. Shifting the status quo away from deficit-based approaches to English language acquisition is neither fast nor easy, but Breaking Down the Walls lays out a clear process, according to the publisher, Corwin.
“To distill it into a single line would go something like this: if we can assume mutual ownership, if we can connect instruction to all children’s personal, social, cultural, and linguistic identities, then all students will achieve,” Corwin wrote.
Soto’s specialties include second language acquisition, systematic reform for ELs, and urban education. She serves as executive director of Whittier College’s Institute for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching (ICLRT), which promotes relevant research and develop academic resources for English learners and Standard English learners via linguistically and culturally responsive teaching practices.