RESEARCH ON THE CHALLENGES OF ACQUIRING LANGUAGE AND LITERACY
Lead Units (in alphabetical order): Departments of Educational Psychology & Special Education; Department of Psychology
Supporting Units (in alphabetical order): Departments of Anthropology, Applied Linguistics, Communication, Early Childhood Education, Educational Policy Studies, and Philosophy; the center for Research on Atypical Development and Learning (CRADL), the Language Research Center (LRC), and the Regents’ Center for Learning Disorders (RCLD)
Our goal is to create a world class interdisciplinary research and doctoral training program focused on the acquisition of language and literacy. This initiative in particular underscores the language and literacy acquisition process for those individuals who face challenges in these domains. These individuals include children and adults at risk for language and or literacy difficulties. They may have identified developmental and/or learning disabilities. Our research programs address not only basic conceptual and methodological issues in the area of language and literacy acquisition, but also have designed and evaluated interventions that may help individuals overcome challenges in the acquisition of language and literacy.
Faculty at Georgia State have long had a strong reputation for innovative research and educational programs in the acquisition of language and literacy including work that targets a variety of biological, developmental, social, cognitive, educational and cultural factors that can significantly affect language acquisition in both its oral and written forms and in both typical and nontypical populations of learners. With our Area of Focus initiative, we are integrating and expanding Georgia State’s many individual research endeavors building a more unified and strongly interdisciplinary program. Our focus is unique in several ways. First, it combines the study of both language and literacy. This approach is important because of the interdependence of oral and written language learning. Second, it explicitly promotes and supports work that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries in these fields. Third, we have an established core of faculty who focus on intervention research. Last, we have structured our Area of Focus to include the training of the next generation of scientists who will be uniquely equipped to confront the research and practice demands of the 21st century.
Our goals are to:
Strengthen and enhance current research strands in the basic and applied study of language and literacy.
Broaden the scope of research by entering into new arenas of research with faculty hires.
Develop interdisciplinary doctoral training experiences.
Foster efforts to translate research into effective practice.
Georgia State University’s Area of Focus Initiative in Research on the Challenges of Acquiring Language and Literacy promotes interdisciplinary research and education in the oral and written dimensions of language acquisition; these skills are essential for the creation of life- long competencies in language and communication. The Area of Focus Initiative which was launched in 2008 was formed from faculty across two colleges and 10 departments who have as their central interest in the basic and applied research issues in language and literacy acquisition.
Opportunities for training and support have been created with graduate fellowships for students whose own research interests are in language and literacy acquisition. Undergraduate fellowships support research experiences with affiliated faculty.