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Funded Projects 

Visit the  Project TRANSLATE

Advancing Teacher Education for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Classrooms in Turkey

Funded by the U.S. Mission Turkey Grants Program, $46, 218. (Period of Performance 11/1/2022-8/1/2024) (Role: PI), Co-PI: Basak Cermikli Ayvaz, Vanderbilt University; Collaborators: Irem Çomoglu & Eda Akgün Özpolat, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey.


This design-based study is a partnership with Dokuz Eylul University to support pre-service educators of English in Turkey to develop the skills and dispositions needed to teach multilingual and refugee youth when teaching English. 


An Expanded Efficacy Study of the TRANSLATE Intervention

Funded by the Scaling Success Grant Competition, Vanderbilt University, $60,000. (Period of Performance 10/1/2022-5/30/2024) (Role: PI)


This quasiexperimental study is exploring the efficacy of the TRANSLATE curriculum ( 


A Researcher-Practitioner-Community Partnership to Foster Early Childhood Language Development in Multilingual Populations

Funded through an internal Grant provided by Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, $9,120. (Period of Performance 06/1/2022-5/31/2024) (Role: PI), Co-PI: Ana Christina da Silva Iddings, Vanderbilt University. 

In this project, we are  expanding a partnership with teachers of students who are supporting language development for young English Language Learners. Apart from the development and strengthening of relationships in our local schools, this project will result in the design of language and literacy curricular activities that center the identities and voices of children in the classroom which will be co-designed with early childhood teachers, families, and community members in the Latine community.


Exploring the Impact of Education in New Versus Established Immigrant Destination U.S. States on Multilingual Learners’ (MLLs’) Reading Achievement During Middle Childhood.

Funded by AERA-NSF, $35,000. (Period of Performance: 1/15/2022– 5/31/2025) (Role: PI)


Studies are needed that consider the conditions in which MLL students educated in ‘new immigrant destination’ (NID) states currently learn and live, conditions which differ in important ways from the social, demographic, economic, political, and educational circumstances shaping the literacy learning experiences of MLLs in other regions. This empirical study aims to document whether MLLs’ levels of reading achievement in NID states show parity with those of students educated in regions where multilingual learns have traditionally been present in the school population. Such research is essential to understand whether insights into MLL populations’ reading achievement generated from decades of studies in long-serving immigrant destinations can be generalized to MLL populations educated in NID states, and further whether policies informed by this research remain applicable. 


Examining Experience with the Language of Print and Cognitive Factors as Predictors of Grammatical Development

Funded by National Institute of Health (NIH), $2,995,847 (additional NIH supplement awarded: $212,715.92) (Period of Performance: 1/1/2020 – 12/31/2024) (Role: Co-PI), PI: Duane Watson, Vanderbilt University; Co-PI: Tessa Warren, University of Pittsburgh) Additional funding: $212,715.92 supplement. (Period of Performance: 1/1/2022 – 12/31/2024)


This study focuses on adult and middle grade readers and tests two mechanisms by which individual differences in language experience might influence grammatical processing when reading: 1) experience with diverse and complex texts, enabling the construction of a better statistical model of the linguistic input and/or 2) gains in processing efficiencies through the amount of text exposure. Rather than explore language experience as a broad construct, we examine an understudied facet of language experience: the quantity and quality of digital and print text exposure experienced by readers inside- and outside-of-the-classroom. Results will inform a deeper understanding of mechanisms that might support later language learning as a core component of text comprehension. 


Core Analytical Language Skills Instrument: Refining the assessment to measure and monitor English Learners' progress.

Funded by Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), $1,398,956. (Period of Performance: 7/1/2019 – 06/30/2025) (Role: Co-PI), PI: Paola Uccelli, Harvard University; Co-PIs: Jeremy Miciak, University of Houston & Chris Barr, Rice University.


This project conducted in partnership with multiple school districts aims to create an efficient and educationally relevant measure of English academic register skills for use with multilingual learners. Because the measure taps knowledge of language features commonly found in school texts, the results of this assessment are designed to inform linguistically supportive reading comprehension instruction. We are working on collaboration with educators in our partner districts design routines for linking these assessment results to instruction that will be made available at the conclusion of the study. 


Completed Funding 


A researcher-practitioner partnership to advance academic language instruction for linguistically diverse populations

Funded by a Peabody Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Grant, Vanderbilt University, $15,000. (Period of Performance: AY 2018-2023) (Role: PI)


This project aimed to form an enduring partnership with middle grade educators to co-investigate the role of language in text comprehension and production and to apply this knowledge to instruction. The resulting professional learning community has continued for five years. 

An Efficacy Study of the TRANSLATE Intervention

Funded by a Lyle Spencer Research Award, Spencer Foundation, $929,000. (Period of Performance 1/1/2019-12/31/2023) (Role: PI, 2022-2023; Co-PI, 2019-2022), Co-PIs: Robert Jiménez, Vanderbilt University; Amanda Goodwin, Vanderbilt University; Samuel David, University of Minnesota; Mikel Cole, University of Houston; Mark Pacheco, University of Florida.  

This multi-year, design-based research and curricular efficacy study will result in, to our knowledge, the first translanguaging curriculum designed for use at scale with middle grade leaders (grades 4-8). Working with a team of educators over two school years and multiple rounds of refinement, we have designed a 22-week English language arts curriculum that centers the linguistic resources of multilingual youth, scaffolds educators in using translingual and metalinguistic pedagogies, and fosters positive multilingual identities for participating students. We completed an efficacy trial of the curriculum in 24 middle grade classrooms (AY 2021-2023) and refined the professional learning sequence that will support implementation at scale. At the conclusion of the study, TRANSLATE materials are freely available at:

The language of written argumentation and explanation: Individual developmental trajectories from 4th to 8th grade

Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), $595,798. (Period of Performance: 7/1/2017 - 6/30/2019) (Role: Co-PI), PI: Paola Uccelli, Harvard University; Co-PI: Chris Barr, Rice University. 

Using a cohort-sequential longitudinal design to follow students from 4th to 8th grade (n=733), this project was guided by two main objectives: to examine individual growth trajectories of language skills for academic writing in students' writing-to-explain (W2E) and writing-to-persuade (W2P) tasks; to explore the concurrent development of productive Language for Academic Writing Skills (L4W), receptive Core Language for Academic Reading Skills (L4R), and Writing Quality (WQ) over time. Results revealed considerable individual variability and consistent links between receptive language and productive language skills. 


Exploring the Role of Metalinguistic Instruction in Middle Grade Classrooms

Funded by an Equity Diversity and Innovation Seed Research Grant, Vanderbilt University, $7,500. (Period of Performance: AY 2018-2019) (Role: PI)

This grant fostered a researcher-practitioner partnership with middle grade educators in two large urban districts to support their use of student language data to inform the design of instruction. Specifically, the project aimed to increase the number of metalinguistic scaffolds provided in lessons to multilingual learners to give greater access to text. 


Expert academic identity formation in informal learning spaces: Exploring the role of language and participatory structures.

Funded by a Peabody College Small Research Grant, Vanderbilt University, $7,590. (Role: PI); Co-PIs: Tesha Sengupta-Irving, Vanderbilt University; Corey Brady, Vanderbilt University. 


This study sought to examine how mentors within a makerspace fostered youth engagement and participation in a range of making practices. 

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