ACE for English Language Learner’s Literacy

ACE for English Language Learner’s Literacy: Professional Development Program

ACE Reading is a literacy improvement program, developed and implemented for students with reading difficulties in communities with high levels of need since 1996. ACE = Actual Community Empowerment. With US DoE support, we developed a family of ACE programs, including Computer ACE Reading and TeenACE, incorporating multimedia. Our efficacy studies have demonstrated a reduction in students being placed in exclusionary services; 95% of project participants improve their reading 1-5 grade levels, becoming comparable to their classmates. The technology and protocols produced promising evaluations in mainstream US (Philadelphia and Kentucky), in English-as-second-language countries (Micronesia, American Samoa), and in Hawai‘i in between. The program gives students supplementary literacy tutoring with cultural support, emphasizing a feedforward philosophy that ensures high levels of success, and boosts self-efficacy and enjoyment of reading. In the state of Hawai‘i with many immigrants from Pacific Islands and Asian countries, 13,898 (8%) of public school students were English as Second Language (ESL) learners in 2004 and approximately 100 full-time and 400 part-time school personnel serve ESL students. Due to lack of qualified personnel, some regular classroom teachers without ESL training also serve ESL students. These teachers need to learn how to take advantage of new technology and other resources, and to become empowered rapidly and efficiently. The project we propose is ACE for English Language Learning students and teachers (ELL-ACE). The purpose is to develop, provide, and evaluate high-quality Professional Development (PD) activities that will result in improved academic achievement with enhanced English skills and motivation of ELL students.

This project will take place over 5 years. The first year we will complete the production of PD training modules, including ELL-ACE start-up kits, manuals, training videos, assessment and resource materials, and full Web site capability for online teaching. The Modules will be offered as a PD course through the University of Hawai‘i Manoa, College of Education, in collaboration with Departments (Hawai‘i and American Samoa) and Ministry (Marshall Islands) of Education. The trained school personnel will be supported to adopt and implement the ELL-ACE model into their school settings. The PD course will be offered repeatedly across years 2-5, in different school districts. Over 700 school personnel will be trained in Hawaii and Pacific Islands, and over 5,000 ESL learners will benefit during the 5 year period of the project. We will use formative evaluations to continually improve the PD course and incorporate innovative technology, pursuing three main questions: (1) Does the PD course fill school’s needs?; (2) Do the trainees apply the knowledge and skills into their school settings?; (3) Do the English language learners under the trained teachers achieve better than those in a comparison condition? Both qualitative and quantitative data will be gathered in such areas as: (a) the impact on the school and predictors of sustainability (administrative support, technology available); (b) changes in teachers’ knowledge and practices related to literacy and technology; (c) student outcomes for each trainee (English literacy, academics, motivation). We will also identify user-defined programmatic adjustments to produce a ‘blueprint’ for a wider implementation. The focus of the last year will be to disseminate findings through the Internet, books, multimedia presentations, and journal articles as well as to build the capacity of the schools to sustain the ELL-ACE program and to identify replication sites beyond the Pacific Islands.

Contact Us

To learn more about ELL-ACE, please contact:
Weol Soon Kim-Rupnow, Ph.D.
Phone: 808-956-5712