This is selected recent UTEP work (boldface for the major pieces) on language, culture, equity, readability, and context topics for all  learners, with red denoting pieces with primary focus on dynamics of emergent bilinguals (formerly referred to as English language learners). Some work was supported in part by the UT System LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program, funded by NSF grant #HRD-0703584), or Project LEAP-UP (US Dept. of Education grant #T195N070132) or COURI (Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives).  Asterisk denotes student collaborator.


Megan Mocko [doctoral student], Amy E. Wagler, Lawrence M. Lesser, Wendy S. Francis, Jennifer M. Blush [doctoral student], Karly Schleicher [doctoral student], Patricia S. Barrientos [master’s student]. (in press). “What they remember may not be what they understand: A study of mnemonic recall and performance by introductory statistics students”

Lesser, L. (2023). Communication rumination: Engaging with Sci-comm and Edutainment, keynote, 10th biennial United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, Pennsylvania State University. (handout)

E. Villa, L. Lesser, & E. Mein (2023). Shifting PreCalculus from Gatekeeper to Gateway at a Hispanic-Serving Institution. In Matthew Voigt, Jess Ellis Hagman, Jessica Gehrtz, Brea Ratliff, Nathan Alexander, & Rachel Levy (Eds.), Justice through the lens of calculus: Framing new possibilities for diversity, equity, and inclusion (pp. 364-372). MAA Notes #96. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America.  [preprint published Nov. 22, 2021 at . Final version posted at MAA Libraries]

Lesser, L. M. & Santos, M.* (2023). “A Survey on How College Students in a Statistical Literacy Course Apply Statistics Terms to People,” Journal of Statistics and Data Science Education  (2-minute video abstract),

Lesser, L. (2022). Aligning goals to audience: context for a statistical literacy course [Keynote], annual meeting of National Numeracy Network, Albuquerque, NM.

Lesser, L. (2022). Using language to confront misconceptions [invited workshop], annual meeting of National Numeracy Network, Albuquerque, NM.

L. M. Lesser, P. S. Barrientos*, & B. Zeidman (July 2022). Higher meanings: A speaker series connecting mathematics and religion. Journal of Humanistic Mathematics12(2), 357-377.  DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.IYPU4188

Lesser, L. (Dec. 2022). “Sound Off! Staring Down Stereotypes”.  Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK–12, 115(12), 915-920., augmented by Tabatha Ridenour’s summary of the July 5, 2022 MTLT Journal Club meeting which discussed — after an intro video — my April 2014 Mathematics Teacher article

Lesser, L. (2022, May). “Culturally Responsive Teaching of Probability:  La Lotería and Toma Todo,” Winner in the Activity Contest, 6th Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics, Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education. See handout (or here) and video recording of a 25-minute invited presentation about the activity.

Lesser, L. (2022). Letter to the Editor [on this article]. Statistics Education Research Journal, 21(1), 1-2.

Megan Mocko, Amy Wagler, Lawrence Lesser, & Wendy Francis (2021). Which Mnemonics do College Students Recall, Explain, and Apply? Refereed poster, 9th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics.

Lesser, L. (2021).  “Connecting QL/SL/QR with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)”, annual meeting of the National Numeracy Network.

Lesser, L. (Oct. 29 & Nov. 5, 2020). A discussion with Larry Lesser on DEI for Statistics Education, colloquium, Statistics Dept. and College of Science, California Polytechnic State University.

Lesser, L. (2020). Redesigning a statistics literacy course to help prepare pre-service teachers to teach (statistics to) English language learners. In Luciana C. de Oliveira & Marta Civil (Eds.), Teaching mathematics to English language learners: Preparing pre-service and in-service teachers (pp. 27-46). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Lesser, L.M., & Wagler, A.E. (2019; available in 2020). Mathematics, statistics and (Jewish) culture: Reflections and connections. In Tod L. Shockey (Ed.), Culture that counts: A decade of depth with the Journal of Mathematics and Culture (pp. 415-436). Galena, Ohio: White Plum Publishing.

Lesser, L.M. (2019; available in 2020). Book of numbers: Exploring Jewish mathematics and culture at a Jewish high school. In Tod L. Shockey (Ed.), Culture that counts: A decade of depth with the Journal of Mathematics and Culture (pp. 459-474). Galena, Ohio: White Plum Publishing.

Lesser, L. (May 18, 2019). Statistics and culture: Considerations for teachers and researchers [roundtable], 9th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, Penn State, State College, PA.

Monárrez, A.*, Galvan, L.*, Wagler, A., & Lesser, L. (Nov. 2018 [appeared Feb. 2019]).  Range of meanings: A sequential mixed methods study of how English language learners encounter assessment items on descriptive statistics. Journal of Statistics Education, 26(3), 162-173.​ [related invited talk given for UTEP College of Education STEM-ers, April 19, 2019]

Wagler, A., & Lesser, L. (2018). Evaluation of theoretical and empirical characteristics of the Communication, Language And Statistics (CLASS) survey. Statistics Education Research Journal, 17(1), 141-164. or

Wagler, A., & Lesser, L. (2017). Helping English language learners navigate probability vocabulary and concepts. Selected breakout session at 7th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.

Mocko, M., Lesser, L., Wagler, A., & Francis, W. (2017). Assessing effectiveness of mnemonics for tertiary students in a hybrid introductory statistics course.  Journal of Statistics Education25(1), 2-11. [related breakout session given by 1st first two authors at 9th United States Conference on Teaching Statistics] this article is listed as one of the journal’s most-read articles:

Lesser, L., Wagler, A., & *Salazar, B. (2016). Flipping between languages? An exploratory analysis of the usage by Spanish-speaking English language learner tertiary students of a bilingual probability applet. Statistics Education Research Journal15(2), 145-168.​ or

Garibay, Lisa Y. (2016). Online Extra: Translating Statistics for Spanish Speakers [supplement to the cover story “Scientists Beyond Borders” of the Fall 2016 UTEP Magazine; see pp. 38-39 of the story].; the parts of the cover story and “online extra” story are both posted at

Lesser, L., & Wagler, A. (2016). Mathematics, statistics, and (Jewish) culture: Reflections on connections. Journal of Mathematics and Culture, 10(2), 127-156.

*Galvan, Lorena (2016). Analysis of English-language learner student reasoning about measures of center and variation: A triangulation of quantitative and qualitative data. Master’s thesis (committee: A. Wagler (chair), L. Lesser, & M. Jayasuriya; graduated May 2016)

Wagler, A. & Lesser, L. (2016). Using technology to increase readability of instructional materials. 3rd Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics.

Lesser, L. & Wagler, A. (2016). Tools for assessing readability of statistics teaching materials. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 35(2), 153-171.

A. Wagler, L. Lesser,  *Ariel González, & *Luis Leal  (2015). Assessing the lexico-grammatical characteristics of a corpus of college-level statistics textbooks: Implications for instruction and practice. The Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 45(1), 31-56.

Lesser, L. (2015). Learning language: A mathematics educator’s reflection on empathy and privilegeTeaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics6(1), 25-32.

Lesser, L. & Wagler. A. (2015). Best practices for responding to (the increasing) cultural and linguistic diversity of introductory statistics students: Research, resources and recommendations. Abstracts of the Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Antonio, TX.

Lesser, L. (April 2014). Staring down stereotypes. Mathematics Teacher107(8), 568-571.  This Mathematics Teacher article (with introductory video) selected for July 5, 2022 MTLT Journal Club meeting,  Article will appear (augmented by summary of journal club discussion) in Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK–12.  Subsequent related column published in Noticias de TODOS 

Wagler, A. & Lesser, L. (2014). Assessing Dimensionality of the Communication, Language And Statistics Survey: A Multi-Group Analysis with Introductory Statistics Students Near the US-Mexico Border [refereed]. In K. Makar, B. de Sousa, & R. Gould (Eds.), Sustainability in statistics education. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS9, July, 2014), Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. Voorburg, The Netherlands: International Statistical Institute.

Lesser, L., Wagler, A., Esquinca, A., & *Valenzuela, M. G. (2013). Survey of native English speakers and Spanish-speaking English language learners in tertiary introductory statistics. Statistics Education Research Journal12(2), 6-31.,

Lesser, L. (2013). Using context to classify variables. Teaching Statistics35(1), 29-31.

Lesser, L. (2013). [la lotería examples] Dare to share: Tell us how you’ve used TEEM articles. Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics, 5(1), 35.

Lesser, L. (2013). Integrating ethics with the teaching of introductory statistics: Rationale and resources. Proceedings of the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings, Section on Statistical Education (pp. 91-95). Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association.

Lesser, L. (2012).  Comment by Lesser [on Hurwitz, S. and Gardenier, J. S. (2012), “Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice: The First 60 Years and Beyond,” The American Statistician66(2), 99-103], The American Statistician66(4), 243.

*Salazar, Berenice (2012). Qualitative analysis of the usage by Spanish-speaking English language learners of resources for learning probability. Master’s thesis (committee:  L. Lesser (chair), A. Wagler, & R. Reyes; graduated December 2012 and received fall 2012 COS precommencement award as Outstanding Graduate Student in MAT-Mathematics)

*Monárrez, Angélica (2012). Analysis of differential item functioning on selected items assessing conceptual knowledge of descriptive statistics for Spanish-speaking ELL and non-ELL college students; Master’s thesis (committee: A. Wagler (chair), L. Lesser, & P. Espinosa; graduated August 2012);

Wagler, A., Lesser, L., *Monárrez, A., & *Salazar, B. (2012) English language learners in the statistics classroom: Research, resources, and recommendations. Invited paper, Joint Statistical Meetings, San Diego, CA.

Wagler, A. E., & Lesser, L. M. (2011). Teaching statistics to culturally and linguistically diverse students. Proceedings of the 2011 Joint Statistical Meetings, Section on Statistical Education (pp. 821-830). or

Lesser, L. (2011). Supporting learners of varying levels of English proficiencyStatistics Teacher Network, 77, 2-5.

Winsor, Matthew; *Pérez-Badillo, Ydalisse; Lewis, Gary; Lesser, Lawrence (2011).   A multi-state comparison of teachers’ beliefs about teaching English language learners mathematics [refereed]. In L. R. Wiest & T. Lamberg (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 996-1005).   Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Reno.

Lesser, L. (2010). Equity and the increasingly diverse tertiary student population: challenges and opportunities in statistics education [invited and refereed]. In C. Reading (Ed.), Data and context in statistics education: Towards an evidence-based society. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Teaching Statistics, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Voorburg, The Netherlands: International Statistical Institute.

Lesser, L. (2010). An ethnomathematics spin on statistics class. Notices of the North American Study Group in Ethnomathematics (NASGEm News), 3(2), 5-6.

Lesser, L. (2010). The Necessity of Equity in Teaching Statistics. Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal, no. 25. (8 pp.) or

*González, Rosa Isela (2009). Survey research to assess secondary school teachers’ disposition and readiness for teaching mathematics to English language learners; Master’s thesis (committee: L. Lesser (chair), M. Tchoshanov, & M. Winsor; graduated Dec. 2009).

*Valenzuela, María Guadalupe (2009). Survey research on communication and language for English learner and native English speakers enrolled in a college course on statistics literacy; Master’s thesis (committee: L. Lesser (chair), A. Wagler, & M. Winsor; graduated December 2009).

Lesser, L. & Winsor, M. (2009). English language learners in introductory statistics: Lessons learned from an exploratory case study of two pre-service teachers. Statistics Education Research Journal8(2), 5-32. or

Lesser, L. (2009). Equity, Social Justice, and the Mission of TODOS: Connections and Motivations. Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics1(1), 22-27.

Lesser, L.  (2009). Social Justice, Gender Equity, and Service Learning in Statistics Education: Lessons Learned from the DOE-Funded Project ACE (ACtion for Equity). Proceedings of the 2008 Joint Statistical MeetingsSection on Statistical Education, pp. 424-431. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association. [ISBN: 978-0-9791747-5-9] or

Lesser, L. (2008). Reunion of Broken Parts: Experiencing Diversity in Algebra.  In Portia C. Elliott and Cynthia M. Elliott Garnett (Eds.), Getting into the mathematics conversation: Valuing communication in mathematics classrooms (pp. 99-107). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  [competitively selected republication of paper from January 2000 Mathematics Teacher, 93(1), 62-67,, which in turn yielded my appearance as the featured guest on show #123 of  “Math Medley”,  an hour-long talk-radio call-in show and a spin-off activity published in the Fall 2007 issue of Teaching Tolerance (No. 32, p. 15) called Using ‘Objects’ to Object to Objectification.]

Winsor, M. (2007). Bridging the language barrier in mathematics. Mathematics Teacher101(5), 372-378.

Lesser, L. (2007). Critical Values and Transforming Data: Teaching Statistics with Social Justice. Journal of Statistics Education, 15(1), 1-21. (also, see related invited national webinars at  and; this paper was also selected for a 9-organization international 2016-17 webinar/readings series on equity and social justice in mathematics education: ]

Lesser, L. (2006). Book of Numbers: Exploring Jewish mathematics and culture at a Jewish high school. Journal of Mathematics and Culture, 1(1), 8-31.

Lesser, L. & Blake, S. (2006).  Mathematical Power: Exploring Critical Pedagogy in Mathematics and Statistics.  Refereed chapter in C. Rossatto, R.L. Allen, M. Pruyn (Eds.) Re-inventing Critical Pedagogy: Widening the Circle of Anti-Oppression Education, pp. 159-173. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.  ISBN 0-7425-3887-7; 0-7425-3888-5.  This particular chapter received the highest and most specific critical praise in a review of the whole book in the June 2007 issue of Choice.  Also, a version of this paper was independently selected with permission for publication in the May 2007 J. for Critical Education Policy Studies:

Lesser, L. (2006). Critical Values: Connecting Ethics, Service Learning, and Social Justice to Lift Our World.  Proceedings of the 2005 Joint Statistical Meetings, Section on Statistical Education [pp. 2269-2271 in CD-ROM]. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association. or

Lesser, L. & Nordenhaug, E. (2004). Ethical Statistics and Statistical Ethics: Making an Interdisciplinary ModuleJournal of Statistics Education12(3), 1-26. 

[other work in this area includes presentations at these local, state, or national meetings: the United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, UTEP’s COURI Symposium, Bilingual Educators Emphasizing and Mastering Standards (BEEMS) conference, UTEP CoED Mathematics Education Research Seminar, Texas Association for Bilingual Educators, International Sun Conference on Teaching and Learning, Conference for Advancement of Mathematics Teaching]

Microcredential course in Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning (UTEP fall 2022 cohort B, Aug.-Oct. 2022; completed 10/28/22), Association of College and University Educators

member of team (since its founding in May 2022) compiling and launching DEI website related to statistics education

SELECTED CLASSROOM RESOURCESlist of terms compiled in 29+ languages by ISI at;  applets available in Spanish from and in Spanish, French, Danish, Arabic, Chinese from ; GAISE in Spanish:; ethnomathematics database

STUDENT COLLABORATORS:  undergraduate Ariel I. González(LSAMP SRA support in summer 2012 and COURI support during 2012-13 school year) as well as a dozen graduate students (yielding 5 theses* and many more independent studies): Berenice Salazar*, Angélica Monárrez*, Saul A. Soto, Luis A. Leal, (Juan)Israel Favela, Heidi Heinrichs, Jennifer (Esparza) Hernandez, Diana Gomez, Edith Ortiz, Lorena Galvan*, Maria Guadalupe Valenzuela*, and Rosa Isela González*;  30+ other graduate students contributed other supporting efforts (e.g., peer debriefing, translating):  Orlando Pajon, Melissa Pugh, Heidi Arellano, Steven King, Oscar Madrid, Kyle Newman, Casey O’Dwyer, John Patrick, Pedro Reyes, Daniel Saldívar, Brenda Trumble, Guadalupe Valenzuela, Andy Waxman; Jorge Anaya, Erica Bernal, Fanny Bernal, James Bilbe, Israel Chavez, Sandra Cuevas, Jennifer Esparza, Susana Gonzales, Adam Gutierrez, Heidi Heinrichs, Carlos Hernandez, Suzana Jackson, Cole Joslyn, Perla Lampinstein, Norma Martinez, Frank Prieto, Blanca Rubio, Jeremy Sneed, and Saul Soto.