April 13, 2021

Researcher: Samuel S. David (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education and Human Development)

Finding effective ways to teach reading comprehension to English learners (ELs) is a critical challenge for educational researchers nationally, and in Minnesota specifically. TRANSLATE is an instructional model designed for ELs performing below grade level, providing teachers with the means to access ELs’ myriad language resources. Qualitative analyses of the TRANSLATE approach have shown that students engaged in TRANSLATE lessons develop new comprehension strategies that capitalize on their home language resources, and an early mixed-methods pilot indicated TRANSLATE students were able to achieve almost an additional year of growth compared to control students. However, TRANSLATE was developed with student populations that differ from those in Minnesota, which has been a center of non-Hispanic refugee and immigrant resettlement since the 1970s. Our research will help Minnesota districts address legally mandated educational benchmarks through differentiated, locally responsive PD and curricular designs that account for the diversity in ELs’ language and cultural backgrounds.