|Title:||Project CLIMB: Capturing Language Immersion Benefits|
|Principal Investigator:||Taboada Barber, Ana||Awardee:||University of Maryland, College Park|
|Program:||Foreign Language Education [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||4 years (07/01/2019 - 06/30/2023)||Award Amount:||$1,400,000|
Co-Principal Investigators: Hancock, Gregory; Cartwright, Kelly
Purpose: The goals of this project are to explore how native English speakers' and English Learners' (ELs) degree of bilingualism relates to their cognitive, language, and reading comprehension skills and to identify features of effective literacy instruction in Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs. Despite the recent rise of DLI programs, and the increased awareness of the value of foreign language learning, research on the effects of bilingualism in DLI programs and on identifying the key features of literacy instruction in these settings is scarce.
Project Activities:During Years 1-3 of the project, the research team will study the effects of participation in a DLI program by following participating students in grades kindergarten – 4 over a three-year period. Each year, researchers will collect measures of students' executive control, metalinguistic awareness, fluid intelligence, socio-economic status, frequency and language use at home, reading comprehension in both languages, and motivation to read in a second language. The research team will also collect data on the features of DLI literacy instruction in participating students' classrooms. During Year 4, the research team will analyze the data and disseminate project findings.
Products:Researchers will provide preliminary evidence of the key features of literacy instruction in DLI programs as well as a theoretical framework about how students' degree of bilingualism relates to cognitive, language, and reading comprehension skills. They will also produce peer-reviewed publications and presentations.
Setting: Participating elementary schools are from a diverse urban district in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and will have a DLI program in place.
Sample: Approximately 600 elementary-aged students will participate in the study. Students will be equally distributed across grades kindergarten – 4 at the start of the study and will be followed as they progress through grade levels over a three-year period. Approximately 85% of students in this sample demonstrate proficiency in social and academic English and the remainder are English Learners.
Malleable Factors:The malleable factors are student participation in a DLI program and features of DLI literacy instruction.
Research Design and Methods: The research team will implement a cohort sequential research design. They will follow participating students enrolled in DLI programs in grades kindergarten – 4 over a three-year period. Once per year, researchers will administer assessments and tasks to students in group settings and parents will be asked to complete questionnaires. Approximately three times each year, the research team will conduct observations of all participating classrooms to code for features of DLI literacy instruction.
Control Condition: Due to the nature of this research, there is no control condition.
Key Measures: Key measures include measures of students' executive control, metalinguistic awareness, fluid intelligence, socio-economic status, frequency and language use at home, reading comprehension in both languages, and motivation to read in a second language. The research team will also collect data on the features of DLI literacy instruction in participating students' classrooms.
Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will use variable conditional process modeling, a derivative of structural equation modeling that accommodates moderation and mediation simultaneously, to answer the primary research questions. In addition, researchers will use panel models and growth models for longitudinal aspects of the data.