George Bunch
  • Pronouns he, him, his, his, himself
  • Title
    • Professor of Education and Department Chair
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Education Department
  • Affiliations Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • McHenry Library, McHenry Library Building, Rm 3144
  • Office Hours By appointment
  • Mail Stop Education Department
  • Mailing Address
    • UCSC Education Dept., 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064

Summary of Expertise

Language and Literacy Education; Bilingualism/Multilingualism/Language Development; English Learners/Emergent Bilinguals/Multilingual Learners; Language and Literacy in Academic Contexts; K-12 Pedagogy, Curriculum, & Teacher Development; Community College Policy & Practice.


My research focuses on language and literacy challenges and opportunities for students learning English as an additional language in US K-12 schools and higher education, and on policies and practices designed to serve such students. My work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), and others. In 2017, I received a Midcareer Award from the American Educational Research Association's Second Language Research Special Interest Group, and I was awarded a Spencer Midcareer Grant for 2017-2018. I received a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2010-2011. 


I was recently a featured guest in WestEd's Perspectives on English Language Learning: Aída Walqui in Conversation with Leading Scholars. That conversation can be viewed here.


I am active in teacher preparation and professional development for teachers working with English Learners. I am the Principal Investigator for the new History & Civics Project at UC Santa Cruz, a regional site of the California History-Social Science Project devoted to improving history and civics instruction in K-12 schools. I served on the English Learner Advisory Panel for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and I was a founding partner of the Understanding Language Initiative, formed to heighten awareness of the role of language for English learners as new common core standards are implemented throughout the United States.


Prior to my research and teacher education career, I taught high school ESL, social studies, and Spanish in Maryland and Washington, DC, and I lived and did volunteer work in Nicaragua.


Biography, Education and Training

PhD, Education (Educational Linguistics), Stanford University, 2004

MA, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Bilingual Education, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1996

BA, American Studies and English, Georgetown University (Magna Cum Laude), 1989

Honors, Awards and Grants

2019-2022 Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), “Exploring the Experiences and Outcomes of English Learners in Community College,” (co-Principal Investigator; Nicole Edgecombe, Principal Investigator) ($ 325,000 subaward of $1,400,000 total grant)


2018-Present California History-Social Science Project Site Award, California Subject Matter Projects, funded by federal and California state funds and administered by the University of California Office of the President ($225,000).


2017 Midcareer Award, Second Language Research Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association (AERA) 


2017-2018 Spencer Foundation Midcareer Grant, "Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for English Learners: Learning From—and About—Systematic Reform" ($150,000).


2017-2019 National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE)/Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)."Preparing the 'New Mainstream' for College and Career: Language, Literacy, and Postsecondary Pathways" (Principal Investigator) ($9,991).


2013-Present National Science Foundation. "Secondary Science Teaching with English Language and Literacy Acquisition." (Co-investigator; Patricia Stoddart Principal Investigator) ($2,885,185). 


2013 Honorable Mention, Best Article of the Year, Journal of Second Language Writing


2010-2011 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship


2010-2011 Special Research Grant, Academic Senate Committee on Research: “Generation 1.5 students in community college: Language demands, students’ voices, and academic progress" (Co-Principal Investigator, with Eduardo Mosqueda) ($8,000). 

2007-2010 William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, “Language minority students and California’s community colleges: Testing, placement, and academic pathways” (Principal Investigaror) ($435,000).

2006-2007 Spencer Foundation, “Language demands of science performance assessments” (Co-investigator, with Jerome Shaw ($40,000). 


2006-2007 Special Research Grant, Academic Senate Committee on Research, University of California, Santa Cruz: “Language demands of high school science assessments for English learners” (Co-Principal Investigator, with Jerome Shaw) ($10,000).


2005-2006 UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute (UC/LMRI), Faculty Research Grant: “Development of presentational language in linguistically diverse mainstream classrooms” (Principal Investigator) ($20,000).

2005-2006 UC All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity (UC/ACCORD), Faculty Research Seed Grant: “English learners, language policy, and transitions to higher education” (Principal Investigator) ($10,000).

2003-2004 Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for Research Related to Education.

2003-2004 Dissertation Grant, American Educational Research Association (AERA)/ Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Selected Publications







  • Bunch, G. C., Walqui, A., & Kibler, A. K. (2015). Attending to language, engaging in practice: Scaffolding English language learners' apprenticeship into the Common Core English Language Arts standards. In L. C. DeOliveria, M. Klassen & M. M. (Eds.), The Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts for English Language Learners: Grades 6-12: Charlotte, NC: TESOL Press. 


  • Bunch, G. C., & Kibler, A. K. (2015). Integrating language, literacy, and academic development: Alternatives to traditional English as a second language and remedial English for language minority students in community colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 39(1), 20-33. 


  • Bunch, G. C., Aguirre, J. M., & Tellez, K. (2015). Integrating a focus on academic language, English learners, and mathematics: Teacher candidates’ responses on the performance assessment for California Teachers (PACT).  The New Educator, 11(1), 79-103.


  • Kibler, A. K., Walqui, A., & Bunch, G. C. (2015). Transformational opportunities: Language and literacy instruction for English language learners in the Common Core era in the United States. TESOL Journal, 6(1), 9-35.


  • Bunch, G. C., Walqui, A., & Pearson, D. P. (2014). Complex text and new common standards in the United States: Pedagogical implications for English learners. TESOL Quarterly, 48(3), 533-559.


  • Bunch, G. C. (2014). The language of ideas and the language of display: Reconceptualizing “academic language” in linguistically diverse classrooms. International Multilingual Research Journal, 8, 70-86. 



  • Bunch, G. C. & Willett, K. (2013). Writing to mean in middle school: Understanding how second language writers negotiate textually-rich content-area instruction. Journal of Second Language Writing 22, 141-160.


  • Walqui, A. & Bunch, G. (2013). ELA for ELL: A Six-Part Instructional Video Series. [Teaching Channel videos discussing and demonstrating English language arts education for English Language Learners to meet the Common Core State Standards in English language arts.] 1. Persuasion Across Time and Space: Unit Overview 2. Preparing Learners: Activating Prior Knowledge 3. Interacting with Complex Texts: Scaffolding Reading 4. Extending Understanding: Vocabulary Development 5. Preparing Learners: Ethos, Pathos, & Logos for Persuasion 6. Interacting with Complex Texts: Jigsaw Project. https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2013/10/25/video-playlist-ell-instruction/  



  • Bunch, G. C., & Endris, A. (2012) Navigating “open access” community colleges: Matriculation policies and practices for U.S.-educated language minority students. In Kanno, Y. & Harklau, L. (Eds.). Linguistic minority immigrants go to college: Preparation, access, and persistence. New York, NY: Routledge.




  • Bunch, G.C. (2010). Preparing mainstream secondary content-area teachers to facilitate English Language Learners’ development of academic language. In Faltis, C. and Valdés, G. (Eds.) Education, immigrant students, refugee students, and English learners. Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE), Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 351-383, New York: Columbia University.


  • Bunch, G.C., Shaw, J.M., and Geaney, E.R. (2010). Documenting the language demands of mainstream content-area assessment for English learners: Participant structures, communicative modes, and genre in science performance assessments. Language and Education 24 (3), 185-214.


  • Bunch, G.C. (2009). “Going up there”: Challenges and opportunities for language minority students during a mainstream classroom speech event. Linguistics and Education 20, pp. 81-108.


  • Shaw, J. M., Bunch, G. C., & Geaney, E. R. (2010). Analyzing language demands facing English learners on science performance assessments: The SALD framework. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 47(8), 909-928.  


  • Bunch, G. C., & Panayotova, D. (2008). Latinos, language minority students, and the construction of ESL: Language testing and placement from high school to community college. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education 7 (1), 6-30. 



  • Bunch, G. C. (2006). “Academic English” in the 7th grade: Broadening the lens, expanding access. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 5, pp. 284-301.


  • Valdés, G., Bunch, G. C., Snow, C., and Lee, C. (2005). Enhancing the development of students’ language(s). In Darling-Hammond, L., Bransford, J., LePage, P., Hammerness, K., & Duffy, H. (Eds.) Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do (pp. 126-168). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Teaching Interests

Educ 141 Bilingualism and Schooling
Educ 128 Immigrants and Education
Educ 204 Methods of English Language Development for Secondary Teachers
Educ 273 Language Acquisition, Bilingualism, and Education
Educ 276 Theory and Practice of Writing
Educ 280 Language and Literacy Across Disciplines