Senior Program Associate
The research-based QTEL is devoted to improving the capacity of teachers to support the linguistic, conceptual, and academic development of adolescent English learners, both immigrant and U.S.-born. DeFazio works with English as a second language (ESL) teachers to help them design a theme-based curriculum, which focuses on the development of academic language.
DeFazio recently retired from International High School in Queens, New York, where he taught English language development for 20 years. He has also taught middle school English and biology and at the Community College of Rhode Island. For the past 15 years, he has taught curriculum and pedagogy courses and linguistic analysis in the graduate program in Multilingual Studies at New York University.
Much of DeFazio's work focuses on apprenticing students into the study of linguistics both as an object of academic inquiry and as a way of helping them to see connections between English and their first language. He has published a chapter on "Language Awareness at the International High School" in volume 6 of the Encyclopedia of Language in Education and coauthored, with Aida Walqui, an article on the adaptation of written text for English learners.
DeFazio had presented at the annual conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics and at New York University's symposium on language and content, and was a keynote speaker at the conference of the New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. He also served on the International Schools Partnership Formative Assessment Committee to draft a series of interim assessment measures to help teachers assess the literacy growth of their English learners.
DeFazio received post-graduate degrees from the University of Rhode Island and New York University. He was named New York State English as a Second Language Teacher of the Year in 1994 and an Outstanding Teacher at New York University in 2006.