Research on the literacy and language development of Spanish-speaking English language learners
VIAS Core A
The Administrative Core supported the program of research through activities in four main areas of responsibility.
First, the Administrative Core staff managed grant documentation and reporting. This included coordinating with the Principal Investigator and researchers to develop progress reports and projections for each year’s continuation application; overseeing the grant budget, staffing, expenditures, and payments; and responding to NICHD requirements.
A second and major focus of the Administrative Core was to support communication and collaboration among the researchers as a unified program of research. This was carried out through coordination of program research meetings, monthly conference calls, establishment of an Advisory Panel with expertise relevant to the individual projects, and coordination of four Advisory Panel Meetings (2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012). In addition, a SharePoint workspace was established as a common access point to conference call notes and documents for researchers in the program.
In its third area of responsibility, the Administrative Core focused on linking the program of research with other researchers and practitioners who could use the program results. We promoted dissemination of the DeLSS/ALE and VIAS projects’ progress and findings through several formats. A number of conference sessions and symposia were organized for conferences of professional associations, including the American Educational Research Association, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, and the Society for Research in Child Development. In addition, the research progress and findings were disseminated online, through the Center for Applied Linguistics’ (CAL) website. Mini-sites were developed for the DeLSS and VIAS projects to share information about the research program overall and to provide summaries of the individual research projects. The DeLSS Acquiring Literacy in English website has been archived and will be retained so that it is available for use by the field (http://www.cal.org/acquiringliteracy/). The VIAS website (http://www.cal.org/projects/vias.html) has been updated and will remain in an archived form on the CAL website as well so that the research work and findings will remain available after the grant has ended. In other dissemination efforts, the Administrative Core staff has responded to individual inquiries (from researchers, graduate students, school personnel, and interested lay people) about the program and about literacy in English language learners.
The fourth area of Administrative Core activity supports sharing of resources and data developed through the research. Researcher-developed instruments (RDIs) based on the DeLSS Acquiring Literacy in English research effort are made available to the field through the CAL website (http://www.cal.org/acquiringliteracy/assessments/
index.html). Each assessment is described and a sample item provided. There is a link to an application form for those who are interested in using one or more of the assessments. Administrative Core staff review and process the applications, ensuring the appropriate use of the instruments for research purposes. Additional resources from the VIAS work are being added to the CAL website. These include assessments and other resources for researchers, and resources for educators. See individual subprojects and Researcher - Developed Instruments.
CAL has established a secure archive site for datasets developed through the project. Datasets for Subproject 3 – Academic Vocabulary in English (AVE) and for student assessment data on the Research Core’s Test of Academic Vocabulary in English (TAVE) are being retained and a process is being established for sharing the datasets with other researchers at the appropriate time.
Through these activities, the Administrative Core helped to ensure that the subproject and Research Core Principal Investigators and research staff were supported in their work as a unified program of research and that necessary operational tasks were accomplished.