Research on the literacy and language development of Spanish-speaking English language learners
Vocabulary Instruction and Assessment for Spanish Speakers (VIAS)
The Vocabulary Instruction and Assessment for Spanish Speakers (VIAS) project is a 5-year program of research funded through grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The grants support research on the literacy and language development of Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELLs) conducted by investigators at the Center for Applied Linguistics and its collaborators, Harvard University, Boston College, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Houston.
Our program of research is focused on the following goals:
- Charting developmental trajectories in literacy and literacy-related language skills for children from Spanish-speaking homes and identifying the likely long-term skills outcomes for such children;
- Examining developmental shifts in precursor and outcome variables related to literacy;
- Examining domains of and conditions for transfer at different points in development;
- Developing and evaluating methods to enhance vocabulary development for ELLs across the elementary grades
- Developing or modifying tools for assessing English and Spanish language and literacy skills, in particular vocabulary, and for characterizing key aspects of the classroom environment, teacher quality, and level of implementation of the interventions;
- Contributing to theories of vocabulary development by articulating for what age children and under what conditions determinants of vocabulary learning identified in the literature on monolingual children are effective for second language learners; and
- Contributing to theories of cross-language transfer by articulating the domains for which transfer occurs as well as the instructional conditions that promote its positive effects.