Supporting Dual Language Learners’ Reading Development and Achievement
presented by Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez, Ed.D.
March 2, 2022
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Dual Language Learners (DLLs)—students from homes in which a language other than only English is spoken—are a vastly heterogeneous student population. Indeed, DLLs’ home and English language proficiency vary widely. Reading in English builds on English language skills, so it may seem unsurprising that DLLs who are in the process of acquiring English language proficiency tend to persistently show lower English reading achievement than their English-proficient peers. However, it is also the case that the vast majority of DLLs are U.S.-born and have been instructed in predominantly English-only contexts since formal school entry. Thus, the national English reading achievement profile of DLLs raises serious questions of equity, centered on the extent to which DLLs’ language needs in the service of reading achievement are effectively being met. In this talk, I discuss the many parallels between the underlying process of English reading development among English-proficient students and DLLs acquiring English proficiency while attending to unique developmental considerations for best supporting DLLs’ reading development and achievement.
Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez is an Associate Professor in the Special Education Department, as well as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Education at Peabody College. She holds a M.Ed. and Ed.D. in language and literacy from Harvard University, as well as a B.A. in liberal studies with a concentration in English and Spanish from Mount Saint Mary’s College. She is a 2013 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, a 2013 Hellman Fellow, and a 2017 English Language Learners Policy Fellow. Jeannette’s program of research is focused on advancing students’ language and reading comprehension outcomes, including those of students from linguistically diverse and low-income homes. Her research is anchored on reading development, with a focus on the central role of supporting students’ language comprehension to mitigate later reading comprehension difficulties. Her most recent work examines the intersection of language and special education status. Jeannette was appointed to the National Assessment of Education Progress Standing Committee on Reading in 2017, is a Research Affiliate for Tennessee Education Research Alliance and serves on the Early Literacy Advisory Council for the Tennessee Department of Education. Learn more about our presenter and her research HERE:
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