Assessing the Results of Sociolinguistic Engagement with K-12 STEM Education in Maryland and Virginia Schools

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

As culturally and linguistically diverse students do not leave their language patterns at the door when they enter science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classrooms, it is necessary to understand how linguistic barriers, including systematic ideas about language, affect STEM students' learning and achievement. The collaborating investigators are examining K-12 STEM educators’ understandings of social, cultural, and linguistic standards in schools. With particular attention to the language patterns of African-American students, the collaborating investigators are working toward a fuller understanding of how language variation and change affects K-12 STEM teachers’ judgments about language differences, pedagogical practices, and student assessments.


The study is carried out in K-12 public and independent schools in greater Baltimore, Maryland, and in the Hampton Roads and Richmond areas of Virginia.

Research Design: 

Quantitative data will be collected from 60 K-12 STEM educators who teach in diverse K-12 public and independent schools. In-depth qualitative data will be collected from 10 educators who will serve as longer-term consultants.


Findings will be posted as they become available.

Publications & Presentations: 

Charity Hudley, Anne H., and Christine Mallinson. 2011. Understanding English Language Variation in U.S. Schools. New York: Teachers College Press.

Mallinson, Christine, Anne H. Charity Hudley, Laura Strickling, and Morgan Figa. 2011. “A Conceptual Framework for Framework for Promoting Linguistic and Educational Change.” Language and Linguistics Compass, Education and Pedagogy section, 5: 441-453.

Mallinson, Christine, and Anne H. Charity Hudley. 2010. “Communicating about Communication: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Educating Educators about Language Variation.” Language and Linguistics Compass, Sociolinguistics section, 4: 245-257.

"Language Variation in the Classroom: Resources for Educators."