Luisa Liliana Costa

Course Instructor

Coordinator, the Language Series; Supervised Fieldwork Advisor

Academic Interests

Dual Language theory and practice, programs and effective implementation strategies, First and second language acquisition, Methodologies in teaching second languages, Oral language as the foundation for literacy, Parents and second language choices, Teaching of reading and writing in Spanish and in English as second languages

Some of the Values that Shape My Work

I am a passionate believer in the cultural and linguistic heritage that children bring to school as the foundation for the further development of literacy. Oral language centered around meaningful, engaging work provides children with a strong foundation to extend both what they know and who they are. My work with teachers involves building their capacity to do this work with skill, imagination, and conviction. Good teaching requires that teachers provide the kinds of learning opportunities that draw upon a range of learning modalities. I model this way of teaching and learning in my graduate classes so that my students can cultivate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be successful practitioners as well as advocates.

Work with Families, Children, Schools, and Communities

  • Founded the Dual Language Parent Committee at PS 87 in Manhattan in 1992.
  • Worked with schools and their communities to implement Dual Language programs, to instill the value of multilingualism for all and the appreciation for and preservation of our linguistic and cultural roots.
  • Facilitated parent workshops on Dual Language education in various schools with Dual Language programs in the New York region: Elmsford, Tarrytown, Peekskill, Port Chester, New Rochelle, Cypress Hills Community School in Brooklyn, Public Schools in District 3 and 6 in Manhattan with Dual Language programs, and in the Franklin School, Newark, NJ, as well as in early childhood centers in Queens and Manhattan.

Recent Professional Contributions

Coordinator of the the Language Series, a yearly event devoted to enhance and support teachers, parents, and the community at large on language acquisition latest research and practice.

Educational content advisor of Oh Noah, a PBS-created learning website and web-only video series, games and activities for learning basic Spanish vocabulary through nine-year old Noah’s mistakes and adventures.

Recent Keynotes and Presentations:

  • “The Power of Oral Language Development.” Bilingual Symposium, New York City Department of Education, April 24, 2014.
  • “One child, many languages: Supports for educational success." Early Childhood Conference, Queens, NY, May 29, 2013. 
  • “Dual Language Learners in the Classroom: Strategies for Success." English Language Learners Parent Conference, ACS NYC, January 11, 2013. 

Member of and frequent presenter at NYSABE

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Applied Linguistics, City University of New York
  • M.A., Applied Linguistics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
  • B.A., English Language, Literature and Translation, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Costa, L. (2012). Tapping the oral traditions to support language development. Conference presentation, Dual Language Learners Conference. ACS, New York.

  • Garro, L., & Romero, O. (2000). L1 teachers and L2 students: What K-3 mainstream classroom teachers know and need to know about English language learners. In J. Tinajero & R. DeVillar (Eds.), The power of two languages (pp. 45-57). New York: MacMillan & McGraw.

  • Garro, L. (1999, July 10). Bilingual schooling that works. The New York Times, p. A12.

  • Garro, L. (1999). One friend, dos amigos, twa zammi. Miami Herald, pp. A13.

  • Garro, L. (1995). Creativity: The art of connecting. Seeds of Unfolding, 12(1), 8-12.

  • Garro, L. (1991). Embracing the world of children. Seeds of Unfolding, 8(1), 26-28.

  • Garro, L., & Parker, F. (1983). Relative suprasegmental characteristics. Journal of Phonetics II, 85-99.

  • Garro, L., & Parker, F. (1982). Some suprasegmental characteristics of relative clauses in English. Journal of Phonetics, 10, 149-161.