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Work Groups

Work Group 1:

This group, led by Dr. Ann Kaiser (Vanderbilt University), is investigating issues around the content of interventions for improving the quality and quantity of caregiver language. The work group will carry out research syntheses to identify features promoting interventions’ short- and long-term effectiveness and factors that support their sustainability.

Work Group 2:

This group, led by Dr. Dale Walker (University of Kansas), is investigating how parent-designed interventions can be adapted for non-parental caregivers. The work group is conducting a research synthesis to identify the most effective ways to improve quality and quantity of caregiver language as well as the high fidelity implementation of language intervention practices by caregivers (information dissemination, awareness training sessions, coaching/mentoring).

Work Group 3:

This group, co-led by Jennifer Stapel-Wax (Emory University) and Ashley Darcy- Mahoney (George Washington University), is investigating how pediatric and public health care setting interventions can be used to bridge the word gap.

Work Group 4:

This group, co-led by Drs. Scott McConnell (University of Minnesota) and Judith Carta (University of Kansas), is investigating the state of knowledge of large-scale interventions (e.g., public awareness/messaging interventions) and effectiveness raising awareness of parents and non-parental caregivers about the importance of talking to their young children. The scope includes effectiveness of other health promotion campaigns in general and more specifically messaging known to be successful changing parents’ behavior (such as Back to Sleep, Providence Talks and the Thirty Million Words Initiative) and other health care contexts (e.g., well-baby checks), neighborhood organizations, and community groups. The group is reviewing emerging and existing initiatives in cities and counties, and research literature on factors that promote appropriate policy innovations and leverage the political and programmatic capital of these large jurisdictions, including ways programs or community agencies have been mobilized and educated to reduce the word gap.

Work Group 5:

This group, is co-led by Dr. Carol Scheffner Hammer (Teachers College, Columbia University) and Anne Larson (Utah State University), are investigating how interventions can be tailored to meet the needs of Dual Language Learners. Of particular interest is how English-speaking non-parental caregivers promote the language development of their Dual Language Learning children.

Work Group 6:

This group, co-led by Drs. Charles Greenwood (University of Kansas) and Howard Goldstein (University of South Florida), is reviewing the methodologies available for conducting research on language interventions carried out at the individual, community, and population levels. Because of the need to demonstrate measurable outcomes, this group’s focus is on measures that have been used effectively to examine how parents and other caregivers change their language interactions with their young children, how children’s vocabulary and language develops over time, and how these skills are predictive of children’s later academic performance. Because of the need to make dependable inferences from diverse sources of evidence, this group’s focus also is on the statistical and research design methods available for use in rigorous research studies. Because of the demands for research at large scale, this group is focusing on efficient, friendly, and reliable computer and information system tools (i.e., software, hardware, websites, and data warehouses) that can provide a common platform for supporting implementation and research at higher levels of scale.