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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

South Carolina: Lisa Fitton Wins Grant to Help Improve Educational Assessments for Dual Language Learners

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to Dr. Lisa Fitton, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, to support her efforts to improve educational outcomes for children from diverse backgrounds. With this project, Dr. Fitton will partner with Lexington 2 School District to collect assessment data from bilingual children in order to better understand the educational services best suited for this population. Co-investigator Dr. Marc Goodrich will also be working with schools near his lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to collect data in parallel.

“Although the number of children from diverse linguistic backgrounds in the United States is growing, there is a significant gap in the research available to inform educational and clinical practice with dual language learners compared to that for their monolingual peers,” Dr. Fitton says. “Dual language learners are at disproportionate risk for misidentification as having language and reading disorders – experiencing over- and under-identification, both of which have negative implications for children and their families.”

Dr. Fitton’s work aims to understand current research and practice for supporting early identification and intervention for Spanish-English speaking children in the U.S. Her activities have included assessing recommended approaches for supporting language and literacy development of children from diverse backgrounds.

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