In August of 2013, Center for Research and Development in Dual Language and Literacy Acquisition (CRDLLA) was approved as an official university center by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
Led by co-directors Rafael Lara-Alecio and Beverly J. Irby, and associate director, Fuhui Tong, the Center will provide leadership in research, assessment, professional development and outreach to enhance the academic success of second language learners through programs that promote dual language and English language and literacy acquisition.
Center activities include but are not limited to-
- Develop research that supports second language learners in schools to achieve academically through programs that promote dual languages and English language and literacy acquisition.
- Conduct research with, and provide professional development for teachers and administrators.
- Develop research-based materials and provide leadership for teachers, administrators, and/or families in the area of dual language and English language and literacy acquisition.
- Focus on science, technology, engineering and science (STEM) and English language learners (ELLs), particularly working on the academic language of science for them.
- Promote practical classroom observations, which are based on the only theoretical framework for observing bilingual classroom pedagogy, developed and published by professors Lara-Alecio and Richard Parker at Texas A&M in 1994
- Seek funds to support studies that not only provide support for dual language programs and English language and literacy acquisition for elementary school ELLs, but also it will provide support for middle and secondary school levels.
- Offer support to a comprehensive team approach (students, ELL and content teachers, administrators, counselors, and community) with a full, rigorous, academic schedule and certified teachers, but with modified, accelerated curriculum.
- Seek funding to apply rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental methods controlling for the problematic confounding variables that plagued previous studies, so as to critically assess the difference between typical practice ESL and dual language programs and enhanced ESL and dual language programs for ELLs. Studies will occur within urban, suburban, and rural settings.
- Involve faculty across the college and the university, as well as national and international scholars from varied disciplines.
- Include research on other language learners such as native Mandarin Chinese speakers who are learning English
Ultimately, the CRDLLA is a reflection of the mission of the TAMU land grant institution and officials expect it to impact educational and academic practice and policy at the state, national and international levels. You can get more information and follow the center at www.crdlla.tamu.edu.
Dr. Fuhui Tong has her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. She is an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology, Bilingual Programs. Her areas of expertise include assessment and testing, program effectiveness for language minority students, quantitative methodology in Bilingual/ESL education, and second language acquisition and linguistic transfer among English Language Learners. Dr. Tong is also a Associate Director of the CRDLLA.