Professor, ESL/Bilingual Education
Co-Director, ESL STEM Success Grant
(U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition)
Areas of Expertise:
Teaching and Learning English as a New Language
Literacy in a New Language
Methods and Materials for Teaching ESL
English Word Formation
Literacy Best Practices
Reading Fluency Instruction
Using Music for Teaching Languages and Literacy
Kristin Lems is an active scholar and leader within the National College of Education. In 2013, she was awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award in EFL/Applied Linguistics, her second Fulbright, to work with English teachers at National University of Mongolia in Ulaanbataar, the capital, and 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, provides expertise in teaching the STEM subjects to English language learners through coursework and 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 with DuPage County School Districts 4, 45, and 88.
Lems has co-authored or co-edited 5 books, 12 chapters, and many refereed articles on language, literacy and music related topics. Her textbook, Teaching Reading to English Language Learners: Insights from Linguistcs (Lems/Miller/Soro, 2010, Guilford) will come out in a second edition in 2017. Published articles appear in The Reading Teacher, Reading in a Foreign Language, Writing Systems Research, Learning Abstracts, English Teaching Forum, Booklinks, and an ERIC Digest. Dr. Lems has offered half and full day institutes, workshops, and symposia at numerous conferences including the Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, The International Literacy Association, National Council of Teachers of English, American Education Research Association, National Association for Bilingual Education, and others.
Lems was a Fulbright Scholar teaching teachers 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.
In addition, Lems is a published songwriter and recording artist.
She also serves on the Evanston Environment Committee and coordinates the NLU Green Committee.
Ed.D., Reading and Language, National Louis University
M.A., Teaching English as a Second Language, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
M.A., West Asian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
A.B., English/creative writing, Secondary Teaching certificate in English, University of Michigan
Research and Interests:
Recent Publications and Presentations
Lems, K. (2016). American English webinar, Using Songs to Teach English, broadcast to 2000 English teachers worldwide. A podcast of the webinar. A blogpost about the project.
Lems, K. (2016). Learning English through Music in the Digital Age. TESOL Video News. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Taguchi, E., Gorsuch, G., Lems, K., & Rozzwell, R. (2016). How repetition and an auditory model helps readers. Reading in a Foreign Language 28(1), 101-117.
Lems, K. & Stegemoller, J. (2015). Unpacking the language of STEM for English language learners. Learning Abstracts 18(4).
Lems, K. (2015). Woody Guthrie: America’s Merry Prankster. Woody Guthrie Annual v1.