Dr. Vinita Chhabra
The Literacy topic supports research on the range of English language-based skills required for learning. U.S. students must develop fluency not only in reading and writing in English but also in speaking and listening in English, and they must be able to apply these skills across multiple contexts, including classrooms and online.
Between 2002–2020, NCER has invested more than $231 million in the Literacy program to support 128 research projects.
The National Center for Education Research (NCER) has invested in literacy research since fiscal year (FY) 2002. Formerly known as the Reading and Writing Topic, it was one of the first programs competed through NCER‘s grants competitions. This program was developed to support innovative research on improving students’ reading and writing skills and achievement.
Literacy researchers have explored, developed, and tested a number of new approaches to teaching, learning, and assessing reading and writing for students in grades K through 12. Specifically, interventions and assessments have targeted a number of reading and writing skills, including, but not limited to syntax, morphology, vocabulary, handwriting, fluency, grammar, prosody, comprehension, and composition. Additionally, projects often incorporate innovative uses of technology, features to increase motivation and engagement, and considerations for English Learners and students with or at-risk for disabilities.
Why study Literacy?
Literacy skills are crucial to success in school and beyond; Reading and writing skills are necessary for college and career. Recognition of the importance of literacy has led to extensive theory and research on this topic for more than fifty years. While researchers have identified effective strategies to help children learn to read, many students in the United States are not proficient readers, suggesting there is more research needed. Writing is vastly understudied in comparison to reading, and despite this important skill for both communication and learning, little is known about how writing develops and how to improve writing achievement for students.
What research is needed in Literacy?
There are several areas of literacy research that have the potential to lead to important advances in the field. Here are just a few examples:
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