Our Vision

Newcomer ELLs are assets to our social landscape; and our learning places should reflect this core value.



Thanks for being here!

My name is Louise and I am absolutely passionate about equitable learning opportunities for all students, including our refugee and immigrant English Language Learners.

I strongly believe that no child comes to the educational table empty handed. To that end, our instructional best practices must make room for strategies that meet students where they are (even in dim corners where trauma, culture shock and language barriers are present), draw out critical funds of knowledge, and build confianza.

I’ve always remarked that I’ve learned so much more from my Newcomer students than they have learned from me. It’s true, isn’t it? What a joy it’s been to share my classroom with students from nearly 70 distinct geographical cultures. I’ve traveled the globe through these kids’ combined funds of knowledge, and am a better educator and human as a result.

I’m thrilled to be alongside you in this journey of learning, growing in our professional capacity. YOU are my PLN. Working together, we can make great strides in leading our EL students- and all students- toward their highest learning potential.



Louise El Yaafouri is dedicated to ensuring that schools act as mechanisms for promoting healthy integration for all refugee and immigrant new Americans.

She works closely with schools to develop asset-based and action-oriented EL programming. Refugee Classroom’s innovative trainings center around diversity and trauma-informed practices that support the socio-academic success of Newcomer ELLs and their families. She is based out of Denver, Colorado; Saida, Lebanon; and Morogoro, Tanzania.

Louise has over twelve years of experience working in and with schools to develop exceptional Newcomer and English Language Development (ELD) programming. As a Newcomer classroom teacher, she was awarded Rodel Exemplary Educator, “Distinguished” teacher (Denver Public Schools), Mile High Teacher and Professional Fulbright Educator.

She maintains vital partnerships with local and international refugee-serving entities, including the Colorado Department of Human Services Refugee Division, International Rescue Committee and American Institute for Resource and Human Development (AIRHD). This unique insight is reflected in her practice, resulting in dynamic global-minded consultancy with immediate classroom impact.

Louise has authored two books on Newcomer education and has contributed to numerous education-related publications and curriculum design teams, including ASCD Educational Leadership Magazine, Edutopia, Europe in Discourse, Chalkbeat National, EduSkills Academic database (with work now viewable in more than 50,000 U.S. schools), and I’m Your Neighbor Books (curriculum design for Katherine Marsh’s critically acclaimed YA novel, NoWhere Boy)Louise’s first book, The Newcomer Student: An Educator’s Guide to Aid Transition, achieved a #1 Amazon ranking in its genre.

Louise delivers keynotes and leads professional development sessions at conferences in the U.S. and internationally.  Additionally, she works with schools and school districts to evaluate ELL services, determine appropriate Newcomer programming and prescribe LEP parent outreach initiatives. In this capacity, Louise helps schools to achieve consistent EL growth over a period of time via on-site consultancy, teacher training and teacher coaching.

She holds board positions at the United Nations Association Denver and New America Schools.  Louise also maintains an active role in a high school she founded in Morogoro, Tanzania- a country she first visited as a Professional Fulbright in 2010.  In 2018, Louise served as a Global Mentor to teachers in Kenya’s Kakuma and Dedaab refugee camps, in partnership with Columbia University.  Louise’s strong online presence includes a #1 ranked refugee-newcomer education blog at refugeeclassroom.com.  She can be found at refugeeclassroom.com and on Twitter @ElYaafouriELD.


Louise El Yaafouri (Kreuzer)
Refugee & Immigrant Newcomer/ESL Consultant