Nelson Flores began his career as an ESL teacher in Philadelphia and New York City public schools. Many of his students were categorized as “Long Term English Learners” who had been officially designated as English Learners for seven or more years. The disconnect between the deficit perspectives typically used to describe these students and the fluid bilingualism he observed them engaged in on a daily basis led him to pursue a Ph.D. in Urban Education from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Dr. Flores has collaborated on several research projects focused on the education of language-minoritized students in U.S. schools, including a study of students officially categorized as “Long Term English Learners” and a study of successful high schools serving large numbers of Latinx students. Nelson Flores studies how language and race intersect in bilingual education policies and practices in ways that are harmful to bilingual students of color. This includes historical work that traces the origins of these policies and practices as well as contemporary work that documents the ways that these policies and practices are enacted in classrooms. He also works with bilingual teachers, administrators, and policymakers on reconceptualizing bilingual education policies and practices in ways that recognize and build on the linguistic dexterity of bilingual students of color.


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