finishing graduate school in art, I taught drawing,
painting, or photography in various venues (college,
community center, penal institution, public school)
for twelve years. I then became an English as a Second
Language teacher (in public schools, community colleges
and universities, community-based organizations,
a refugee camp in the Philippines, a binational center
in Mexico). I received a Ph.D. degree in pedagogy
in 2001. In
2016, I retired
from the paid teaching profession, but
teach to learn and to serve others.
In all of my teaching, I try to help learners to
link their visual and linguistic experience. Below,
included some photographs of projects and activities
over the years.
Working in my studio, youths of Mexican heritage are learning
to make traditional Mexican pull toys. They are also designing
an illustrated manual to teach other children how to make these
toys, based on models created by Mexican artist Hanni Sager.
in a beginning
English As a Second Language literacy class for adults in San
Francisco took photos of one another on a field trip, then modified
own, to create brief letters to someone they knew. Each student
in a group of three created her or his own letter, and read it
author focused on illustrating and listing a group of
a domestic setting for the figures--one that didn't exist in
(and their teachers) in a bicultural institute in Mexico made
kites and decorated them, after viewing images of traditional
Mexican masks. We discussed their projects in English, their
emergent second language.
and adults in a California public school worked with me to create
this ceramic tile mural (3 views here). Participants followed the
theme ("Where are we going?") and created a "permanent
quilt" (they had viewed a textile quilt in their local museum)
that depicted what each person thought he or she would be doing
in twenty years. Students wrote about the project in their journals.
and the mural was installed permanently on an exterior wall of
designed and painted a mural for a binational center in Guadalajara,
Mexico, on the theme of the international migration of the monarch
butterfly. Here, American and Mexican novice assistants work
together on final details of the piece.
students in a New York middle school created a newspaper
of their own, then developed a "manual" for newspaper
publishing, so that future ESL students--or students in "mainstream"
classes--could understand the learning process. They used Polaroid
illustrate each step of the process, providing an important
literacy aid to their readers.
of 32 Chinese middle school students whom I taught to use materials
I'd designed to color and personalize images, and develop English
in the process of doing so. Each learner in this program
in Nanjing selected line drawings that
she or he enjoyed the most (out of eight the class
portrait. This boy chose "What
do you like to do at night?" and "What do you like
to do outdoors?"
a project I devised as a teacher educator in a New York graduate
school, a high school English as a Second Language teacher in
East Harlem used and evaluated materials I'd created, encouraging
draw their memories of a piece of literature, then write about
them. This student embellished the simple line drawing of an
airplane with visual details from a story of immigration studied
in class; then, she wrote about the content of her drawing.
example of a Vietnamese refugee kindergartener's work. This child
was about to be retained, until he and I found a way to show
teacher in an upstate New York school that his knowledge
were highly advanced, and that he could learn to use that
knowledge in reading and writing. In working with both
children and adults in various settings, I've found that visual
literacy are closely related. Nevertheless, visual literacy remains
undervalued by many people in positions of educational and political
Students in a
New York City fifth grade worked with me to create shadow puppets. They used
the puppets to create
dramatic skits on the theme of "solving a problem." Both native speakers
of English and ESL students worked together to present their work.
an ESL class that I taught in New York, children from South
Asia, Latin America, and Europe listened to an Indian folk
tale ("The Two Parrots"), re-wrote the story, then
created a dramatic production of their own. They designed a
set, made costumes, then performed the piece. The drama was
on videotape and shown to their "mainstream" classes.
GRANTS and AWARDS
the years, I have received numerous grants for my efforts in
teaching. Among the grantors have been:
The City University of New York
State of Jalisco, Mexico
New York City Teachers Consortium
The Dutchess County
(NY) Area Fund
California Department of Education
(2009) Art Activities for ESL Learners and Teachers. The 39th
Annual NYS TESOL Conference. White Plains, NY.
(2007). Aesthetic/Social Literacy in Adult Education.A workshop presented
at Service Employes International Union Local 1199, New York, NY.
(2006). Read My Voice: Linking Art, Literacy and Language Learners.
8th Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Chapter, National Association
for Multicultural Education. Scranton, PA.
(2003). Art, identity, and teaching second language literacy. The
Tenth International Conference on Literacy and Education, London,
(2002). Which content?: Drawing, teaching and ESL literacy. The 32nd
Annual NYS TESOL Conference. Saratoga Springs, New York.
(1998). I see what you mean: Art activities for language learners
(and teachers). New York State TESOL Conference. Buffalo, NY.
(1990). It’s my picture…. Annual conference, Teachers
of English to Speakers of Other Languages. San Francisco, CA.
(1985). “Using Art Materials in Teaching Basic Skills,” Annual
conference, Mexican Teachers of English as a Second Language, Guadalajara,
of Fine Arts, Painting, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Doctor of Philosophy, Multilingual/Multicultural Education,
New York University, New York City
Master of Arts, English/TESOL, San Francisco State University, San