National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning

June 1991 Masthead

Eugene Garcia, Barry McLaughlin
University of California, Santa Cruz

The National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning has been funded by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, effective January 1, 1991. The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), through the university’s statewide Linguistic Minority Research Project, received the award to coordinate this Center and will collaborate with the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, DC and other institutions to conduct the research and provide dissemination activities.

This new national research center is designed to promote the intellectual development, literacy, and thoughtful citizenship of language minority students, and an appreciation of the multicultural and linguistic diversity of the American people. The Center will initiate new projects as well as build on and expand to the national level ongoing research, dissemination, and teaching efforts. The Center’s work will involve researchers from a variety of disciplines, include participants from throughout the country, and address the needs of students from a variety of language minority groups in pre-K to grade 12 classrooms.

Several of the research projects deal with the relationship between first and second language learning, and between cultural and linguistic factors in the achievement of literacy. Other projects focus on teaching strategies to assist children from diverse cultural backgrounds in gaining access to content material. Studies that develop alternate models of assessment for these students are also included as are studies that examine various instructional programs for language minority children, and how modifications in the social organization of schools affect their academic performance.

Dissemination will be a key feature for the Center as a whole as well as for each project. The dissemination efforts will be directed to the parents and teachers of language minority students, and to the resource centers, policymakers, advocacy groups, researchers, and professional organizations concerned with their needs.

The new Research Center on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning will undertake a dynamic, process-oriented research program that places language learning within a broader social and cultural context. Because it is inherently applied and contextual, this approach should produce lasting practical consequences, assisting parents, practitioners, and policymakers in better educating our nation’s culturally diverse children.

For more information about the individual research projects and/or to join the mailing list, please contact the Center at this address:
National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning
Dr. Eugene Garcia or Dr. Barry McLaughlin Kerr Hall
University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Phone: (408) 459-3501
Fax: (408) 459-3502


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