Dr. Ivannia Soto is Professor of Education and Director of Graduate Programs at Whittier College, where she specializes in language acquisition, systemic reform for English language learners (ELLs), and urban education. She began her career in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), where she taught English and English Language Development to a population of 99.9% Latinos, who either were or had been multilingual learners. Before becoming a professor, Dr. Soto also served LAUSD as a literacy coach, as well as district office and county office administrator. She has presented on literacy and language topics at various conferences, including the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE), the California Association for Bilingual Association (CABE), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the National Urban Education Conference. As a consultant, Soto has worked with Stanford University’s School Redesign Network (SRN), WestEd, and CABE, as well as a variety of districts and county offices in California, providing technical assistance for systemic reform for ELLs and Title III. Recently, Soto also directed a CABE bilingual teacher and administrator program across California.
Dr. Soto has authored and co-authored twelve books, including The Literacy Gaps: Building Bridges for ELLs and SELs; ELL Shadowing as a Catalyst for Change, which was recognized by Education Trust-West as a promising practice for ELLs in 2018 (second edition of the book is Shadowing Multilingual Learners); From Spoken to Written Language with ELLs; the Academic English Mastery four-book series; Common Core Companion Book Series for English Language Development four-book series; Breaking Down the Wall; and Supporting Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: A Framework for Responsive Schooling. Together, the books tell a story of how to equitably engage and include ELLs by ensuring that they gain voice and an academic identity in the classroom setting. Soto is Executive Director of the Institute for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching (ICLRT) at Whittier College, whose mission it is to promote relevant research and develop academic resources for ELLs and Standard English Learners (SELs) via linguistically and culturally responsive teaching practices.