Aída Walqui directs the National Research and Development Center for Improving the Education of English Learners in Secondary Schools at WestEd, where she started one of the agency’s signature programs, the Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) initiative. QTEL focuses on the development of educator expertise to support elementary and secondary English Learners’ development of conceptual, analytic, and language practices in disciplinary subject matter areas.
Under her leadership, QTEL has been funded by federal and private institutions to develop and research professional development tools and processes that support the academic success of students who are designated as English Learners. Walqui has also led the design and implementation of multiyear QTEL professional development efforts for the New York City Department of Education and in Austin, San Diego, and Chicago school systems, among others.
Walqui taught in the Division of Education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and at the School of Education, Stanford University. A native Peruvian, she received an MS in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University, and her PhD from Stanford University. She has ample experience in the field of second language teaching in schools and at the university level, nationally and internationally. She is the author of many books and articles and co-edited the recent book, Reconceptualizing the Role of Critical Dialogue in American Classrooms: Promoting Equity Through Dialogic Education.
In 2016, on the 50th anniversary of the International TESOL Association, Walqui was selected as one of the 50 most influential researchers in the last 50 years in the field of English Language teaching. In 2023, she was honored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) with the English Learner Champion Award.