Yasuko Kanno is Associate Professor in the College of Education at Boston University, where she is also the coordinator of the TESOL Program. Recipient of the 2015 TESOL Award for Distinguished Research, Kanno is interested in English language learners’ access to postsecondary education and how K-12 public schools shape ELLs’ postsecondary choices. Her work has appeared in American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, TESOL Quarterly, Modern Language Journal, Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, among others. She is also Co-Editor of the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education.
As a teacher educator, she teaches a variety of TESOL courses, including an undergraduate introductory course in English Language Learner Education, graduate courses in sociopolitical aspects of language teaching and learning, bilingual education and bilingualism, and language teaching methods. At home, she is the mom of an energetic and incredibly social 12-year-old son and spends far more time baking cookies and and cakes than she should.
English learners (ELs) are currently the fastest growing group in U.S. public schools. By 2025, they are expected to represent 25% of the K-12 public school student body. Theoretically, those students who are institutionally identified as ELs are entitled by federal law to receive academic and linguistic services that will help them achieve parity with English-proficient students. In reality, however, EL identification often comes at a cost: ELs in high school are systematically assigned to low-track courses and do not receive sufficient guidance on postsecondary education. In this keynote, through presentation of national datasets and ethnographic case studies, I demonstrate how ELs’ opportunity to learn in high school is compromised and consequently, how a large number of ELs graduate from high school neither college- nor career-ready.
One of her recent journal articles, “I’m not going to be, like, for the AP”: English language learners’ limited access to advanced college-preparatory courses in high school (with Sara Kangas, American Educational Research Journal, 2014) has won the 2015 TESOL Award for Distinguished Research.