Advancing Opportunities: Understanding Language Variation and Literacy Among Learners from Diverse and Disadvantaged Backgrounds
Friday, Dec 2, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 10:15 am
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School of Education Guest Lecture
“Advancing Opportunities: Understanding Language Variation and Literacy among Learners from Diverse and Disadvantaged Backgrounds”
Presented by Brandy Gatlin Postdoctoral Research Associate &
Urban Child Study Center, Georgia State University
Friday, December 2, 2016
9:00 – 10:15 am
Open to the public
Abstract: How do we promote academic achievement among children from disadvantaged backgrounds? In an increasingly competitive society, the need to address this question has, perhaps, never been more apparent. Understanding the needs of children from racially, ethnically, economically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds is a priority in educational research, and the empirical work that will be presented during this talk begins to address this very important question. Throughout this presentation, Dr. Brandy Gatlin will discuss the findings of her research, which has focused specifically on language variation and literacy among students from culturally and linguistically diverse groups, many of whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged. In particular, she will explain how she developed an interest in research in language variation, namely nonmainstream American English dialects, and detail the results of three research studies that have examined language variation among young children. In particular, these studies include (1) an investigation of oral language skills of African American kindergarten students in comparison to their peers not identifying as African American, (2) a meta-analysis examining current literature on the relationship between dialect and literacy achievement among students in Grades K-6, and (3) a two-part study examining the occurrence and frequency of the use of dialect forms in oral and written language samples, and an examination of relations between the frequency of dialect use in each of these contexts and reading outcomes. This presentation will highlight Dr. Gatlin’s research thus far, as well as provide information on her future research directions, which includes extending literature to investigate dialect use in writing and the development of intervention studies to examine the malleability of language variation and to determine potential relations in improvement in literacy skills among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Bio: Dr. Brandy Gatlin is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Urban Child Study Center located at Georgia State University. Her research interests include basic and applied research on the relations between language and literacy development for children from culturally and linguistically diverse groups, especially those from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds. A former special education teacher, Gatlin has had a variety of teaching and research experiences, including serving as a doctoral student scholar for the Council of Exceptional Children’s Division for Research, participating in the Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training (PIRT) Fellowship Program as a doctoral student, and completing graduate and postdoctoral studies in the Multidisciplinary Learning Disabilities Center at the Florida Center for Reading Research. Gatlin received her doctoral degree from Florida State University in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in special education in 2015.