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About Susan OHara

My scholarship has always included a focus on providing a challenging and meaningful curriculum to linguistically and culturally diverse populations. Through funding from the Linguistic Minority Research Institute, I worked with a colleague to investigate the impact of hypermedia authoring on the academic vocabulary development and content understanding of English language learners. This research project spanned five years. Since coming to Stanford University in 2009, I have expanded my scholarship in the area of technology use for the education of English learners. Funded by a state department of education grant, a colleague and I designed a study to investigate the impact of a design-based professional development model on teachers’ capacity to integrate technology for the academic language development of ELs. Given the critical need of supporting teachers to meet the needs of the ever-growing English learner population in schools, my current research also aims to explore aspects of teacher knowledge and instructional practice that are associated with positive learning outcomes for English language learners. I have co-authored two books for classroom teachers, NETS Grades 6-8 Multidisciplinary Resource Units and Teaching Vocabulary with Hypermedia, 6-12.
Current Research:
Given the critical need of supporting teachers to meet the needs of the ever-growing English learner population in schools, my current research aims to explore aspects of teacher knowledge and instructional practice that are associated with positive learning outcomes for English language learners. I am currently working on a project to develop and test a professional development model that builds local capacity and provides a system of supports to novice high school teachers for enacting core teaching practices for academic literacy development in subject area classrooms. The model is designed to build local capacity by focusing attention on three different groups: 1) novice high school teachers; 2) their mentors; and 3) their school principals as well as other school-based instructional leaders. The intention of this capacity building approach is to identify and develop the particular knowledge, skills and practices that are needed by members of each distinct group in order to ensure that novice teachers are well supported to enact academic literacy practices in their classrooms. A second goal of the project is to examine the feasibility and implications of implementing the model in different contexts.(Funded by a federal grant awarded by the Office of English Language Acquisition).

Positions

Present Faculty Member, Stanford University
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