Kristin Lems


Professor, ESL/Bilingual Education
Co-Director, ESL STEM Success Grant
(U.S. Dpt. of Ed, Office of English Language Acquisition)

Programs/Classes Taught:

ESL and Bilingual Education, all classes
Methods of Arts Education
English to Speakers of Other Languages
Reading in the Content Areas

Areas of Expertise:

teaching and learning English as a new language, applied linguistics, methods and materials for teaching ESL, reading in a new language, orthography, oracy, reading instructional practices, reading fluency instruction, adult ESL, using the arts to learn languages


Kristin Lems is an active scholar and leader within the National College of Education. Most recently, she was awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award in EFL/Applied Linguistics, to work with English teachers at National University of Mongolia in Ulaanbataar, the capitol. She spent 20 days there in October, 2013. Lems co-directs a 5 year training grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition. The ESL STEM Success Grant, awarded $1,764,177, runs from 2011-2016 and provides expertise in teaching the STEM subjects to English language learners through work with 5 partners. Lems previously directed another Department of Education grant at National Louis (2004-2009), Building Community for English Language Acquisition, which partnered to provide ESL teaching expertise to DuPage County School Districts 4, 45, and 88. In addition to Dr. Lems' grant directorships, she has co-authored or co-edited 5 books related to reading fluency, reading, and English language learners (Guilford, Scholastic), and published articles in The Reading Teacher, Writing Systems Research, English Teaching Forum, Booklinks, and ERIC Digests. Alone and with colleagues, Lems has offered half and full day institutes, workshops, and symposia at international conferences for professional organizations including the International Reading Association, National Council of Teachers of English, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, American Association of Applied Linguistics, American Education Research Association, National Association for Bilingual Education, and others. She has been invited to offer professional development in northern Illinois on various topics relating to English language learners. Lems was a Fulbright Scholar in Algeria, and is currently an English Language Specialist with the U.S. State Department. In that capacity, she worked with teachers of English in 2012 in Chile.


Ed.D., Reading and Language, National Louis University M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign M.A. in West Asian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign A.B. in English/creative writing, secondary teaching certificate, University of Michigan

Contact Information:


Kristin Lems, Ed.D.  
Co-Director, ESL STEM Success Grant
Professor, National Louis University
North Shore Campus 
5202 Old Orchard Rd., Skokie, IL 60077
224-233-2407 (phone/fax)


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »

    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
    Info » | Directions »