Adjunct Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures
World Languages and Cultures College of Arts and Sciences
Education K-12 (M.A.), Graduate School
Drawing on my identity as a Christ-following Ukrainian immigrant, my passion is to advocate for linguistically and culturally minoritized people, including students in school systems at various levels. I try to live Christ's highest calling to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Started at Bethel
- Cherkasy Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University, Ukraine - B.A., 1994
- Cherkasy Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University, Ukraine - M.A. in Education, 1995
- Bethel University - Ed.D., 2014
Ruslana Westerlund, Ed.D. has been a faculty member (both adjunct and full-time) at Bethel University since 2002. She taught in the newly-created ESL Licensure program in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) until 2006. She continues to teach Linguistics for the college and Responsive Pedagogy for English Language Learners course at the Master's of Education program in the adjunct faculty role.
Her full-time job is in Madison, Wisconsin where she is an associate researcher at WIDA. It is housed at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her responsibilities include re-conceptualization and development of tools for the English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework by working with teachers and researchers to inform the WIDA ELD Standards Framework. She believes that language development for these learners is situated at the intersection of the societal, school, and student socio-cultural contexts (Cortez, 1986) and that education of such learners encompasses issues beyond language and is deeply rooted in social justice.
Before coming to WIDA, Ruslana worked as an ELD Specialist at K-12, teacher preparation programs at undergraduate and graduate levels and served as an ELD and refugee student specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education. In that role, she managed grants from the Office of Refugee Resettlement and collaborated with various state departments to provide wrap-around services to refugee children. She completed her doctorate degree at Bethel University where she studied educational leadership. In her dissertation, she explored teachers’ sense-making of the WIDA ELD Standards in their daily practice. In her spare time, she blogs at Reclaiming The Language For Social Justice blog. She is married and has two children and two dogs and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Modern World Languages
- Curriculum and Instruction Development
- ESL Methods
- Introduction to Linguistics
- Second Language Acquisition
Graduate School, Masters of Education program
- Responsive Pedagogy for English Language Learners
Westerlund, R. (2016). WIDA focus on bulletin: Writing with a purpose. Madison, WI: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Retrieved from: https://www.wida.us/get.aspx?id=2095
Morita-Mullaney, T., & Westerlund, R. (2016). The No Child Left Behind Flexibility Waivers and English Learners: A Midwestern Portrait of Minnesota and Indiana Policies. MinneTESOL Journal. Fall. Retrieved from http://minnetesoljournal.org/fall-2016/the-no-child-left-behind-flexibility-waivers-and-english-learners-a-midwestern-portrait-of-minnesota-and-indiana-policies
Westerlund, R. (2014). Lost in Translation: A Descriptive Case Study of a K-5 Urban Charter School Implementing the WIDA ELD Standards. Unpublished Dissertation, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota
Genre-Based Approaches to Developing and Assessing Writing for Multilingual Writers, Workshop Session, National Association for State Directors of Migrant Education Conference, May, 2017 Orlando Florida
Genre-Based Approaches to Developing and Assessing Writing for Multilingual Writers, Workshop Session, National Association for State Directors of Migrant Education Conference, October, 2017 Orlando Florida
Guiding Principles for Identification and Services of Gifted English Learners, Literature Review and Leadership Consulting, November 2016, Roseville Public Schools, Minnesota
Language is for the Living of Life, not for the Production of Structures, Keynote at the Dakota TESL Conference, October 2016, Fargo, North Dakota
Academic Language Construct in the WIDA Standards Framework, Friday Seminar, University of Sydney, August, 2016, Sydney, Australia
WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, English Learner Language Specialists in South Asia Conference, November 2013, February 2015, Bangkok, Thailand
The Role of Language in Social Justice in Education, TEAL Manitoba Conference, October 2015, Manitoba, Canada
Implementation of the WIDA Standards Framework, Minnesota ESL, Bilingual, and Migrant Education Conference, November, 2013, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Certificates and Licenses
ESL K-12 Teaching License, Minnesota
Professional Organizations, Committees, and Boards
American Association of Applied Linguistics
North American Systemic Functional Linguistics Association
American Education Research Association
Areas of expertise
English language development, bilingual education, academic language, ESL/bilingual program evaluation, teacher change, science of implementation, and policy implementation
Your life's work is where the needs of the world and the joys of your heart intersect.