Research

Current Research Projects:

Participating in Literacies and Computer Science (PiLaCS)
Co-Principal Investigator with Laura Ascenzi-Moreno, Principal Investigator is Christopher Hoadley, Lead 
Research Assistant is Sara Vogel
Grant period August 2017-August 2019 for $300,000 from the National Science Foundation

PiLaCS is a partnership between New York University, CUNY’s RISLUS, and bilingual teachers at three New York City public middle schools in Washington Heights. The project addresses a problem of practice facing educators tasked with rolling out New York City’s Computer Science for All (CS4All) policy: how to equitably serve emergent bilinguals. Translanguaging pedagogy encourages teachers to leverage children’s diverse languaging practices in classroom instruction. It is thought that the skills emergent bilingual students use to learn multiple languages may also be useful in helping them learn to program computers. This project will explore whether that is the case, and more broadly examine computer science instruction for emergent bilinguals. Accordingly, PiLaCS will develop and test pedagogies that draw on the strengths of students as they learn computer science and become empowered makers and users of technology.

Diversity in the Expansion of Dual Language Bilingual Education: The Case of Hebrew-English Programs in New York City Public Schools
Principal Investigator with Sharon Avni

Grant period September 2016-April 2018 for $49,992 from the Spencer Foundation

The purpose of this research project is to examine the expansion of dual language bilingual education (DLBE) in New York City public schools, which are now being offered in less commonly taught languages and attracting populations of students who traditionally have not participated in bilingual education programs. This study focuses on the case of Hebrew-English DLBE programs, the first of which opened in 2010. Using complementary qualitative methods, this comparative study investigates how Hebrew DLBE programs teach about and negotiate linguistic, ethnic, racial, and religious diversity. Its goal is to provide empirical evidence about the opportunities and challenges of DLBE programs in less-commonly-taught languages and highlights how these programs inform broader conversations about the societal goals of bilingualism as a goal of and opportunity for public schooling.

CUNY-Bilingual Education Resources: Supporting and Sustaining Initiative
Co-Principal Investigator with Ofelia García, Principal Investigator is Ricardo Otheguy, Project Director is Maite Sánchez.
Grant period July 1, 2016-June 30, 2019 for $474,068 per year ($1,422,204 total) from the New York State Department of Education

The CUNY–New York State Initiative for Bilingual Education (CUNY-NYSIEB) is an initiative of RISLUS and the PhD Program in Urban Education that began in 2011. Between 2016 and 2019, the work of CUNY-NYSIEB will focus primarily on CUNY-BERSSI, a component of CUNY-NYSIEB that is an extension of the Bilingual Network Component that has been in place since 2015. The Leadership Component, the main focus of CUNY-NYSIEB’s work between 2011 and 2016, will continue to exist but on a smaller scale. CUNY-BERSSI’s goal is to provide resources, with suggestions for practice, for educators in New York State who work with emergent bilinguals/multilingual learners and who are working in bilingual education or English as a new language (ENL) settings.

CUNY-New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals
Co-Principal Investigator with Ofelia García, Principal Investigator is Ricardo Otheguy, Project Director is Maite Sánchez
Grant period January, 2011-August, 2016 for $5 million from the New York State Department of Education

CUNY-New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals (CUNY-NYSIEB) is a collaborative project of the Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS) and the Ph.D. Program in Urban Education, and funded by the New York State Education Department. CUNY-NYSIEB addresses the enduring issue of multilingualism in New York State’s public schools and represents an effort to improve the public school experience and the academic success of emergent bilingual students. The grant focuses on providing professional development to principals, school/district personnel, and teachers in support of practices that view bilingualism as a resource to be used in classrooms as well as the whole school. The initiative also disseminates materials developed as part of the work, document historical and current practices to support emergent bilinguals, and support New York State Education Department in the development and implementation of the Bilingual Common Core Initiative. Further information about the project can be found at www.cuny-nysieb.org

CUNY-NYSIEB is featured in the 2013 Annual Report of the CUNY Research Foundation, which can be seen on pp. 12-13 by clicking here.

Completed Research Projects:
Where Have All the Bilingual Programs Gone?: Factors in School Administrators’ Decisions about Educational Programming for Emergent Bilinguals
Kate Menken, Principal Investigator
May, 2010-October, 2011
Funded by the Office of English Language Learners, New York City Department of Education

The purpose of this research project was to better understand the widespread loss of bilingual education programs in New York City public schools through interviews with principals who had chosen to eliminate the bilingual programs in their schools in recent years. Cristian Solorza worked on this project as research assistant.

Meeting the Needs of Long-Term English Language Learners in High School, Phases I & II
Kate Menken, Principal Investigator

Phase I: January, 2007-September, 2007
Phase II: March, 2008-December, 2009
Funded by the Office of English Language Learners, New York City Department of Education
The purpose of Phase I of this research project was to explore the characteristics and educational needs of students labeled ‘Long-Term English Language Learners,’ students who remain categorized as ‘English language learners’ after 7 years or more attending U.S. schools. The purpose of Phase II of this research project was to develop, implement, and evaluate a program for students labeled ‘Long-Term English Language Learners’ that focused on biliteracy development in Spanish and English.
Research Team: Kate Menken (Principal Investigator), Tatyana Kleyn (Faculty Researcher), and the following Research Assistants: Laura Ascenzi-Moreno, Nabin Chae, Nelson Flores, Alexander Funk, and Jeremy Rafal (doctoral students at the CUNY Graduate Center at the time).


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