CAL partnered with several institutions in the Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners (CREATE), a National Research and Development Center for English language learners. CREATE’s program of research was designed to enhance the empirical research base for Grade 4-8 readers by developing and testing effective interventions that promote content knowledge and language and literacy development; by investigating the features of instruction and types of text modifications that facilitate learning for ELLs; by designing, testing, and delivering professional development that will help teachers implement effective classroom practices; and by disseminating findings and information about effective practices.
Working under a 5-year contract awarded to the University of Houston from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, CAL was involved in two broad areas of research under CREATE. The first, Project QuEST, Quality English and Science Teaching, involved research on a systematic intervention model to concurrently develop science content and language and literacy skills in middle school second-language learners. The second study, Impact of the SIOP Model on Middle School Science and Language Learning, investigated the impact of the SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) Model on student academic achievement in middle school science, a subject area with high language demands. The SIOP Model is a research-based approach that integrates grade-level content with academic English language development.
CAL also lead dissemination activities for the Center. CREATE organized annual conferences by CREATE investigators on topics related to the center’s work. A capstone conference took place in 2011 that highlighted current research on methods for building literacy skills and oral language development for English language learners across the content areas.