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World Languages

2024-25 Facilitator Book Study on Words and Actions: Teaching Languages Through the Lens of Social Justice

Registration for this book study is now closed.  We have reached our capacity and are no longer accepting applications.

Please note that we intend to offer a statewide book study on this book in the 2025-26 school year.  Registration will be available in the early spring of 2025.

The 2024-25 Facilitator Book Study for Words and Actions: Teaching Languages Through the Lens of Social Justice by Cassandra Glynn, Pamela Wesely, and Beth Wassell is sponsored by the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL) of the New York State Education Department (NYSED).  World language educators working or studying in NYS district, charter, religious, and independent schools, and NYS colleges and universities, as well as administrators who supervise world language departments and BOCES/RBERN personnel, are encouraged to participate.  This book study will be co-facilitated by Dr. Pamela Wesely and Dr. Lori Langer de Ramirez. 

Click here to download the flyer for this facilitator book study.

Words and Actions: Teaching Languages Through the Lens of Social Justice explores the integration of social justice concepts and approaches into the language classroom, grounded in standards, objectives, and goals in both social justice education and language education.  The second edition of this book features an expanded framework, a variety of new unit, lesson, and activity examples from different languages and levels, and additional content on how social justice education fits within the context of contemporary approaches to language instruction.  The text provides concrete examples to help readers navigate the opportunities and challenges inherent in adopting a social justice lens, such as the differences between a good cultural lesson and a social justice lesson. Expanded chapters also provide support for adapting curriculum in different contexts, including those that emphasize immersion, comprehensible input, Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS), and content-based instruction. New educator voices and examples from both commonly and less commonly taught language classrooms provide an authentic picture of social justice work taking place in classrooms across the United States. A new chapter about critical moments in the classroom has also been added to provide a clear guide and explicit tools to help teachers address complex events and challenging moments in the classroom.

The book study is structured so that time will be provided during each meeting for small groups to process and apply new ideas to school contexts.  Participants in this book study will be encouraged to consider facilitating a book study on this same book in the 2025-26 school year with a small team from the 2024-25 facilitator book study, using the materials developed by NYSED.  Significant training and guidance will be provided for those interested.  The number of participants in this facilitator book study will be limited to 50.  There is no cost to participate in this book study.

All book study meetings will be conducted via Zoom from 4:00-5:30 pm EST.  The dates of the book study are September 12th, October 10th, November 14th, December 5th, January 9th, February 13th, March 6th, April 10th, and May 8th.

Participants may earn up to 27 hours of CTLE credit (1.5 hours for each of 9 meetings and 13.5 hours for reading the book and preparing for meetings).  Participants who attend all 9 meetings in full will receive 27 hours of CTLE credit; participants who attend 8 meetings in full will receive 25.5 hours of CTLE credit.  Full attendance is defined as arriving in the Zoom no later than 4:05 pm and remaining connected until the presenter ends the meeting.  No credit will be awarded to participants who attend less than 8 full meetings.  The book will be distributed to all participants, free of charge, by late spring. 

Date Focus topic
September 12th

Introductions, book study plan, Chapter 1:  Introduction

October 10th   Chapter 2:  Preparing to Teach for Social Justice
November 14th Chapter 3:  Creating Original Social Justice Units
December 5th Chapter 4:  Adapting Existing Curricula for Social Justice
January 9th Chapter 5:  Planning Daily Lessons
February 13th Chapter 6:  Critical Moments
March 6th Chapter 7:  Self-Assessment and Reflection
April 10th Chapter 8:  Moving Forward
May 8th  

Book study wrap-up, Planning to be a team facilitator in next year’s book study, Feedback on participant experience with book study






Dr. Pamela Wesely received her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota in 2009, and she is currently a Professor of Multilingual Education and the Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. Dr. Wesely’s scholarship and teaching examines K-12 world language education in the United States. Building on eight years of work as a middle school French teacher and eleven years working in the experiential learning environment of Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota, she studies the attitudes, motivations, perceptions, and beliefs of stakeholders in K-12 world language education. She is particularly interested in pedagogical innovation that departs from the grammar-based curriculum, like content-based instruction, instruction focused on comprehensible input, social justice education, and technology integration in the language classroom. Her work has been published in journals including Foreign Language Annals, Modern Language Journal, Journal of Teacher Education, CALICO Journal, Language Teaching Research, and Journal of Mixed Methods Research. She is the co-author of Words and Actions: Teaching Languages Through the Lens of Social Justice (ACTFL, 2014, 2018). She is a former Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), as well as a former president of the Iowa World Language Association. 


Dr. Lori Langer de Ramirez began her language teaching career as a teacher of Spanish, French and ESL. She holds a master’s degree in applied Linguistics and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently the K-12 Chair of the World and Classical Language Department at the Dalton School in New York City. Lori is the author of books, texts and articles about language teaching and learning and multicultural education. She presents workshops at local, regional and national conferences and works with teachers in schools throughout the U.S. and around the world. Her website ( offers free materials for teaching Chinese, English, French, and Spanish.