Dr. Ruslana Westerlund

Dr. Ruslana Westerlund is an accomplished educational consultant, researcher, and professor with over 25 years of experience. Her expertise lies in K-12 education, particularly for students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, referred to as Multilingual or English Learners in the United States. Over the past decade, she has concentrated her efforts on supporting writing in various disciplines through the Teaching and Learning Cycle for Disciplinary Genres, a genre pedagogy rooted in Systemic Functional Linguistics. This approach emphasizes the importance of context and apprenticeship in teaching language in the service of learning.

She has applied that theory in various research projects, and one of the largest national projects she’s worked on was the English Language Development Standards for WIDA, a consortium of 41 states and territories that provide high-quality language standards to inform instruction and language assessment.  She is an author of multiple publications listed on her Bethel University Faculty Page. Her latest publication is published by Taylor and Francis publishing group titled Making Language Visible in Social Studies: A Guide to Disciplinary Literacy in the Social Studies Classroom.  She is also working on a book with two other authors on creating a Language Toolkit for Teachers Using the WIDA Standards. She is also a Founder and main consultant for Westerlund Consulting, LLC.

In addition to her academic pursuits, Dr. Westerlund is deeply involved in community service. She serves as the President of Friends of Ukraine, Madison, a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to supporting Ukrainian refugees in Dane County, Wisconsin, and promoting Ukrainian culture and language through educational and cultural events. She has also volunteered her expertise to support TESOL Ukraine, providing professional learning opportunities for English professors and teachers during times of conflict. Dr. Westerlund’s dedication to education and humanitarian causes reflects her profound commitment to making a difference in the lives of others, particularly Ukrainian children enduring the challenges of war.