Earlier this month, faculty from the Center for Research & Development in Dual Language & Literacy (CRDLLA) travelled to Arlington, Va., to attend the National Professional Development (NPD) 2017 Project Directors Meeting hosted by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition.

Those in attendance included Dr. Rafael Lara-Alecio, Regents Professor; Dr. Beverly J. Irby, College of Education & Human Development Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Héctor Rivera, assistant professor of bilingual education—all principal investigators on NPD projects. These projects are Empowering Teachers of English Language Learners (ETELL; Lara-Alecio); Preparing Academic Leaders: Teachers of English Learners (PAL) and Massive Open Online Professional Informal Individual Learning (MOOPIL; Irby); and Eco-Resilience NPD program: Synergistically Connecting Multiple Environments for the Success of English Learners (Rivera).

The purpose of the three-day annual Project Directors Meeting was to share research and ideas on policy and practice to improve opportunities for English learners (ELs), including professional development practices for teachers and administrators working with ELs, with government officials, policymakers, and other researchers.

Dr. Lara-Alecio presented a poster with first-year findings from Project ETELL, which incorporates research on virtual mentoring/coaching, high technology, and virtual classroom observations.

“We had an excellent time representing our projects and learning from other project directors,” Dr. Lara-Alecio said.