Dr Keira Ballantyne has more than fifteen years' experience as an applied linguist at the intersection of language and culture in the United States. Her work has focused on practical applications of research in instruction, professional development, and assessment.
She began her career in vocational ESL for adults, working with immigrants in DC and in Maryland in union apprenticeship and other vocational programs. She held a variety of technical assistance and research positions at The George Washington University, where she served in successively more responsible positions at the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, and then at the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education. In these positions, Dr Ballantyne provided technical assistance information to states and districts and served to support nationwide dissemination activities for the US Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition. She has been at CAL since 2015, where she spent many years in the Language Assessment Division managing CAL's Psychometric and Quantitative Research team. In this role she supported the psychometric work for WIDA's ACCESS for ELLs assessment, as well as the BEST suite of assessments.
Dr Ballantyne's projects and research have encompassed a broad range of issues that are critical to the educational success of multilingual learners, including early childhood education, teacher education, assessment and accountability, indigenous language education, international education, and school district evaluation.
Dr Ballantyne was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and emigrated to Western Australia as a child before moving to the United States to earn a PhD in linguistics at the University of Hawai'i Mānoa. She is a tridialectal English speaker, and code-switches between US, Scottish, and Australian Englishes.
CAL researchers have developed a native language assessment tool for students of the Choctaw language in Mississippi. The project, "Annopa Tikbishtiya," or "Carry the Language Forward," is ensuring that the language flourishes and grows from generation to generation. "When you see a student demonstrate [proficiency in the language], it gives hope." -Jason Lewis
The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is collaborating with the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) on a new grant project called "Developing a Native Language Immersion Program Model."
This short Q&A aims to provide insight into how test development and psychometric researchers at CAL identify biased items and prevent sensitive topics from appearing on CAL’s language proficiency assessments.
The Center for Applied Linguistics presents to members of the House and Senate on issues pertaining to the state of K-12 English Language Learners in this country. Speakers will include Dr. Keira Ballantyne, Peggy McLeod, EdD, Gabriela Uro, and Dr. Eugene García. Invitation-only.