Partnerships with Districts and School Leaders
In addition to my research on academic language and guided by a deep commitment to moving between research and practice, for the last four years I have collaborated with Dr. Nonie Lesaux to design a self-study model for literacy reform in schools serving many ELs. This model is outlined in our book entitled, ‘Advanced Literacy Instruction in Linguistically Diverse Settings: A Guide for School Leaders’ (Lesaux, Phillips Galloway, & Marietta, Fall, 2016).
Our inspiration for this book grew out of a multi-year partnership—one in which we worked to support literacy leaders and create schools and classrooms that reflect what we know from our own and others research on literacy learning and language instruction for linguistically diverse students. From this partnership that involved nearly 50 school leaders and district administrators in one of the largest, most linguistically diverse urban districts in the United States, I came to understand the challenges and see the possibilities for both ensuring that literacy instruction satisfies what it means to be ‘literate’ today, while also supporting the growing number of linguistically diverse students in our schools. In particular, this work highlights the need to foster ‘academic language consciousness’—or knowledge of the mostly implicit language demands of academic learning—in school leaders tasked with selecting curriculum, designing professional learning for teachers, and making decisions that impact how language policies are enacted in the classroom.