Joanna Birnbaum is a professional developer for Bridges. She is responsible for coaching teachers whose students are English Language Learners with interrupted formal education. For the past eight years, she has trained and supervised prospective and in-service foreign language, TESOL, and bilingual education teachers, in Bachelors and Masters programs at CUNY. She started out as a middle and high school Spanish teacher to multilingual immigrant students in the derelict suburbs of Paris, the city where she was born and raised. Drawing on her students’ diverse backgrounds and experiences, she and her colleagues designed an interdisciplinary project on immigration to the neighborhood, which led to an invitation to city hall to meet the mayor. In addition to Spanish, she has taught English and French (her two native languages) to children and adults in Madrid and New York City. Joanna holds a PhD in Linguistics from the CUNY Graduate Center.