About CAL
Join Our List
Featured Publication

What's Different About Teaching Reading to Students Learning English? book cover
What's Different About Teaching Reading to Students Learning English?

Email this page
Print this page


PreK-12 ELL Education: Principals to Practice Approach for ELL Success

The CAL Solutions team of service providers combines experience in the classroom with expertise in providing professional development and technical assistance that can be customized to meet your needs.

Learn more.



About CAL

Meet the CAL Team

Lisa Tabaku's pictureLisa M. Tabaku

Director, PreK-12 ELL
Professional Development


Lisa Tabaku currently serves as the Director of CAL PreK-12 ELL Professional Development Programs. Her work involves overseeing the provision of professional development and technical assistance to states, districts, and schools that supports effective, research-based, teaching and learning of English language learner (ELL) students.

Throughout her career in education, Lisa has worked extensively in providing technical expertise and professional development to school staff and administration on effectively educating students with diverse language and cultural backgrounds who are enrolled in U.S. schools. She has taught numerous graduate level courses in ESL foundations, methodology, and literacy. She served as project coordinator for several professional development grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, the main purpose of which was to provide general education teachers with the knowledge and skills they needed to offer successful instruction to ELLs.

Holding a masterís degree in Bilingual Education and a bachelorís degree in Linguistics from Georgetown University, Lisa spent over two decades of public service in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Her roles in DCPS included ESL teacher (at both the elementary and secondary levels), professional developer, grant writer, program coordinator for a series of Title VII/III federal grant projects, curriculum writer, Executive Director of the Office of Bilingual Education, and Director of Civil Rights and Multicultural Affairs.

Her work at CAL has included the development of an observation protocol for determining effective reading instruction for ELL students, the development of a rubric to determine effective instructional materials and assessments for students learning English, a framework for integrating state content and English language proficiency standards, numerous program evaluations and needs assessments, and a host of trainings on the topic of ELL literacy development, including Training of Trainers and Direct Strategies Institutes on the CAL What’s Different About Teaching Reading to Students Learning English? materials.

Lisa also serves as the project manager for CAL’s partnership with the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center. In this capacity, she oversees CAL’s support to the Great Lake states (Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio) on providing effective education to ELLs.

Lisa is currently the Chair of the TESOL Secondary Interest Group and is on the Advisory Board of the Mid-Atlantic Equity Center.

Return to the staff page.