Ruth E. Quiroa


Associate Professor, Reading & Language

Programs/Classes Taught:

Ed.D Reading & Language
Language, Linguistics, & Literacy

M.Ed. & C.A.S. Language, & Literacy Education
Survey of Youth Literature, PreK-12
Adolescent Literature
Diverse Perspectives in Youth Literature, PreK-12
Language Development & Variation
Seminar in Language Literacy, & Library Education
Special Topics: Exploring Latino/a Cultures through K-12 Literature; Latino Families & Students (K-12): Literacy & Literature; Meeting the Needs of K-12 English Language Learners

M.Ed. & C.A.S. Reading
Reading & Language Arts Methods for Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students, K-12

M.Ed. & C.A.S. Curriculum and Instruction
Reading in a New Language: Linguistic Considerations
Family Literacy for Linguistically & Culturally Diverse Students

M.A.T. Elementary and Middle Level Teacher Education
Literacy Methods I: Grades K-4
Literacy Methods II: Grades 5-9

Areas of Expertise:

  • Impact of multicultural literature on instructional practice
  • Latino/a-themed literature (PreK-12)
  • Multicultural and general literature for children and adolescents (PreK-12)
  • Wordless picturebooks • Bilingual and ELL Education
  • Literacy for culturally and linguistically diverse students
  • Language, literacy, and culture


Ruth E. Quiroa is an Associate Professor in Reading & Language where she teaches graduate courses in youth literature, PreK-12, inclusive of multicultural literature, as well as other language, literacy, and reading courses. She formerly taught kindergarten and bilingual second grade (Spanish/English), and served as coordinator for an after-school program at a middle school. Dr. Quiroa completed her doctoral degree in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, specializing in bilingual education and children's literature. Dr. Quiroa has served in leadership positions for Latino/a-themed book award review committees (Américas Award for Children and Adolescents, Pura Belpré Award), and the Illinois Language & Literacy Council, while also presenting at local, state, national, and international conferences and workshops.


Ph.D., Education, Curriculum & Instruction / Language & Literacy / ELL-Bilingual Education University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004. M.Ed., Education, Curriculum & Instruction / Language & Literacy / ELL-Bilingual Education University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998 Multiple Subjects Elementary Teaching Credential California State University, Los Angeles, 1992 B.A., Psychology Olivet Nazarene University, 1987

Research and Interests:

The impact of multicultural literature on the instructional practices of in-service teachers and school librarians
Trends and issues in Latino/a-themed literature
The complexity of wordless picturebooks
Representations of gender and ethnicity/race evidenced in the Common Core State Standards Text Exemplar list

Quiroa, R. E. (2013). Promising portals and safe passages: A review of preK-12 Latino/a-themed literature. In J. C. Naidoo & S. Park (Eds.) Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading. ALA Editions.

Cummins, S. & Quiroa, R. E. (2012). Teaching Tips: Teaching for writing expository responses to narrative texts. Reading Teacher, (65)6, 381-386.

Quiroa, R. E. (2010). Bailando ante el espejo literario / Dancing in front of the literary mirror: Responses to culturally familiar themes in picture storybooks. In J. C. Naidoo (Ed.) Celebrating cuentos: Promoting Latino children's literature and literacy into classrooms and libraries. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Quiroa, R. E. (2010). The story of the Américas Collection: Gathering preK-12 Spanish language books and resources. In J. C. Naidoo (Ed.) Celebrating cuentos: Promoting Latino children's literature and literacy into classrooms and libraries. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Yokota, J., Teale, W., & Quiroa, R. E. (2008). Literacy development for culturally diverse students. In S. B. Wepner & D. Strickland (Eds.) The Administration and Supervision of Reading Programs. Teachers College Press.

Barrera, R. B. & Quiroa, R. (2003). The use of Spanish in Latino children's literature in English: What makes for cultural authenticity? In D. L. Fox & K. G. Short (Eds.). Stories matter: The complexity of cultural authenticity in children's literature. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Barrera, R. B., Quiroa, R. E., & Validivia, R. (2003). Spanish in Latino children's picture storybooks in English: Its use and textual effects. In A. Willis, G. García, V. Harris and R. Barrera (Eds.) Multicultural issues in literacy, research, and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Quiroa, R. E. (2000). The use and role of multiethnic children's literature in family literacy programs: Realities and possiblities. The New Advocate, 14(1), 43-52.

Barrera, R. B., Quiroa, R. E., & West-Williams, C. (1999). Poco a poco: The continuing development of Mexican American children's literature in the 1990s. The New Advocate, 12(4), 315-330.

"The wonderful world of books without words: Complex texts with open access." Paper presented at the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) 34th International Congress in Mexico City, October 10, 2014.

"Silent picture storybooks as complex texts," a presentation at the Illinois TESOL-Bilingual Education (ITBE) Conference, March 2014. Co-presenter: Amy Huftalin, NLU Reading Doctoral Candidate.

"Reading the Américas," a presentation at the Américas Award K-12 Teacher Workshop: "Using children's literature to explore Latin American/Latino cultural heritage," sponsored by Tulane University and Vanderbilt University's Centers for Latin American Studies & Teaching for Change; Washington, D. C. October 6, 2012. Co-presenter and award initiator, Julie Kline.

"Latino/a-Themed K-12 Literature and the Impact of the Child's Perspective on Educators." Featured Sessions, Illinois Reading Council Conference, Springfield, IL, April 2012.

"New And Familiar Worlds: Latino/a-themed Literature For Pre-K-High School, 2001-2010." Presentations at the Alice Hagar Curriculum Center, Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, April 2011.

"Portals to Our Future: Latino/a-Themed Literature for Children and Adolescents, 2001-2010." Presentation on panel, "Culture and Literacy: Portals to our History," National Council of Teachers of English annual convention, Chicago, IL, November 2011.

Peaceful Crossings with Wordless Picture Books." United States Board on Books for Young People regional conference, Fresno, CA, October, 2011.

"Best practices required: Complicating and shifting a methods-only frame to ELL instruction," National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), San José, TX, November 2008. Co-presenter, Dr. Jennifer Berne.

"Using Latino-Themed Literature as a Basis for Assessment-Driven Comprehension Instruction with ELL Children of Mexican Heritage," International Reading Association's World Congress, San José, Costa Rica, July 2008. Co-presenters: Dr. Sue McMahon, Dr. Sunday Cummins.

"Using culturally responsive literature," Pre-Conference Institute titled Leading Literacy Programs, International Reading Association's Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, May 2008. Institute coordinators: Dr. Shelley B. Wepner & Dr. Donna S. Strickland.

"Metacognition and Second Language Reading Comprehension," workshop presentation for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) K-12 pre-service and in-service teachers at the Universidad Católica de Santo Tomás in Concepción, Chile, July 2007.

"Eso, eso, eso" That's it!: The role of the teacher in the literary interactions of young Mexican-origin children with Mexican American-themed picture storybooks," National Reading Conference (NRC), December 2006.

Member of the Review Committee for the 2013 Pura Belpré Award for Children's Literature, January 2012-January 2013. See: and

Chair (2011-2012) and Member (2009-2012) of the Review Committee for the Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature of the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP). Participated in the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Award Ceremonies at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. See Award Ceremony webcasts:

Co-founder of the Américas Collection of books for Children and Adolescents at the National Louis University library. This is a collection of 1500+ Spanish, bilingual, and Latino/a-themed children's and young adult books, with the majority originally published in Spanish by Latin American authors & illustrators.

Contact Information:

phone/fax: 630.874.4563

NATIONAL LOUIS UNIVERSITY | 850 Warrenville Rd., Lisle, IL 6053


    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 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »

    NLU has a proud history of serving graduate students in southeastern Wisconsin. We currently offer all Wisconsin residents online programs in non-licensure education as well as a variety of business-related degrees.

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