This podcast is an interview with Ruslana Westerlund, the creator of the ELL Bill of Rights ( and the keynote speaker at the “Co-teaching and Collaboration Conference” in St Paul, Minnesota on 12 Nov 2010, at the School Community of Excellence. Ruslana is an educator originally from Ukraine, and has worked for years with English Language Learners. She is focused on educating teachers as well as students about the rights they have in the United States as ELLs. Her website is “a place where students, teachers, community members, or anyone else passionate about equity and advocacy for English learners can choose tools that send the message of empowerment.  The tools you will find here will help you empower and advocate for your English Learners.   These tools are great conversation starters.  Engage with your community in courageous conversations!  Wear a t-shirt!  Start talking!  Serve as a “spokesperson for the welfare of all learners in a multicultural context.” In addition to sharing our interview in this podcast, I also share a poem and story which Ruslana sent to me and asked I include in this recording. Many of our classrooms are more diverse than ever, and the information about which Ruslana is passionate to share is critical for us all to understand. In becoming more aware of ELL rights and effective strategies to help second language learners, we can all become better educators for all our students.

Show Notes:

  1. The ELL Bill of Rights by Ruslana Westerlund
  2. Facebook: Educators of English Learners EELLike
  3. On Twitter: @EllBillofRights
  4. My text notes from Ruslana’s 12 Nov 2010 keynote: “English learners in the digital age: natives, immigrants or outsiders”

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