SRIS Webinar: Hills and Valleys to Higher Education: Equity for K-12 English Language Learners

When:  Jun 15, 2022 from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (ET)


Each U.S. state has varying approaches to the education of English language learners, often rendering their pathway to university a long road of hills and valleys. How can states come to recognize their obligation to equitably invest in the success of young language learners for a brighter future? In this two-part webinar, the presenters will share current challenges facing young language learners in the U.S. K-12 system, with suggestions for ways forward.


Dyanis Conrad (she/her) is an assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of South Dakota teaching Foundations of Education and courses related to the teaching of English as an additional language (ESL/ENL). Her research centers on social and educational inequalities, racial literacy, critical social justice, and the deconstruction and disruption of colonial legacies. As a qualitative researcher, she seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the effects of racialized and colonized practices on the sociocultural and educational experiences of marginalized populations in order to improve community relationships and the educational experiences of underserved populations.

Dr. Pamela Smart-Smith is the Director of the AdvantageVT Master’s Pathway Program and Intensive English Program in the Language and Culture Institute (VTLCI). Dr. Smart-Smith brings more than 29 years of experience as a TESOL educator and an administrator and instructor of English as a second language. She has taught all levels of English from elementary school through the post-secondary level. Additionally, she has taught graduate-level courses in teacher education and research methods. She has lived and worked in Spain, Germany, Poland, England, and South Korea. Dr. Smart-Smith holds a Ph.D. in Social foundations of education with research interests in trauma in education. She has a master's in public administration from Old Dominion University. She also has a master's degree in education from Virginia Tech, with an emphasis on English as a second language and multicultural education.


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