Photo of Yasuko Kanno

Yasuko Kanno


Dr. Yasuko (“Yasko”) Kanno is a professor of language education at BU Wheelock. She is an applied linguist who specializes in immigrant English learners’ access to postsecondary education. A multilingual speaker who has lived in four different countries, Dr. Kanno interrogates how the US K-12 schools systemically marginalize multilingual students of color and works closely with local schools in the Greater Boston to promote educational equity for this population. She is an ethnographer by training and teaches qualitative research at BU Wheelock; however, she also occasionally engages in secondary data analysis.

Before arriving at Boston University, Dr. Kanno was an associate professor and program coordinator of the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program at Temple University. Her book, English Learners’ Access to Postsecondary Education: Neither College nor Career Ready (Multilingual Matters, 2021), is an ethnographic case study that explores seven ELs’ transition from high school to postsecondary education. Dr. Kanno is an editorial board member of the American Educational Research Journal and a member at large of the American Association for Applied Linguistics. She was the recipient of the 2015 TESOL Distinguished Research Award.

Pronouns: she/her

PhD, Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto

MA, Linguistics, Keio University

BA, French, Keio University

BI515: Methods in Bilingual Education

TL508: Methods in Teaching English as a Second Language

BI620: Educational Issues in Bilingual Education

RS 652: Introduction to Qualitative Research

RS 752: Seminar in Qualitative Research

Kanno, Y., Rios-Aguilar, C., & Bunch, G. (2024). English learners? Emergent bilinguals? Multilingual learners?: Goals, contexts, and consequences in labeling studentsTESOL Journal.

Kanno, Y., & Kangas, S. E. N. (2023). English learner as an intersectional identity. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 23(2), 320-326.

Kanno, Y. (2021). English learners’ access to postsecondary education: Neither college nor career ready. Multilingual Matters.

Hayward, C., Kanno, Y., Rios-Aguilar, C., & Vo, D. (2022). English learners’ pathways in California’s community colleges under AB 705. Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).

Bruhn, J., Jones, N., Kanno, Y., & Winters, M. A. (2022). Professional development at scale: The causal effect of obtaining an SEI endorsement under Massachusetts’s RETELL Initiative. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis [online first].

David, N. E., & Kanno, Y. (2021). ESL programs at U.S. community colleges: A multi-state study of placement tests, course offerings, and course content. TESOL Journal, 12(2), e562.

Emerick, M. R., Hoffman, B., & Kanno, Y. (2020). Teaching Hispanic restaurant workers: Translanguaging as culturally sustaining pedagogy. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 51(3), 304-321.

Kanno, Y. (2018). Non-college-bound English learners as the underserved third: How students graduate from high school neither college- nor career-ready. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 23(4), 336-358.

Kanno, Y. (2018). High-performing English learners’ limited access to four-year college. Teachers College Record, 120(4), 1-46.

Nuñez, A,-M., Rios-Aguilar, C., Kanno, Y., Flores, S.M. (2016). English learners and their transition to postsecondary education. In M.B. Paulsen (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Volume 31 (pp. 41-90). New York: Springer.

Kanno, Y., & Cromley, J. (2015). English language learners’ pathways to four-year colleges. Teachers College Record, 117(120306), 1-44.

Kanno, Y. (2023, February). Multilingual learners’ access to college: What difference can K-12 schools make? Keynote Address. National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) Research Institute, Portland, OR.

Kanno, Y. (2022, March). Preparing multilingual learners for college and career success. Invited Speaker. Research to Policy Critical Conversations in Language Education Series, Center for Applied Linguistics. Webinar.