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December 2021

Judith Scott

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Judith Scott is currently the Chair of Undergraduate Programs and a member of the Education Department executive committee. She has been the Graduate Director for the Ph.D. program and chair of the Language, Literacy and Culture specialization. Prior to coming to UC-Santa Cruz, she was an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, from 1991-2000. There, she helped create the Early Literacy Network with 52 school districts, and the Reading 44 program, which is used throughout the province. She was also the Co-Director of a Professional Development Institute in California that served over 350 new and veteran teachers for three years, focused on English Language learning using teacher inquiry and coaching.  Her areas of expertise center around vocabulary acquisition and blending vocabulary instruction with effective teacher education within the context of language, literacy and culture. 

Current Inquiries:

Judith has been the Principal Investigator of two large grants funded by the United States Department of Education/National Center for Educational research and a third from the State of California.

The first project, Vocabulary Assessment Studies in Education (VASE) is an expanded study of the assessment tool created during the VINE project (2006-2010). The VINE project involved fourth and fifth grade teachers and students from nine school districts, with mixed ethnic and high poverty populations. The focus was to help teachers create classroom conditions that foster metacognitive awareness of how words work in English. []. In VASE, they are developing a new method of vocabulary assessment based on testing incremental knowledge about words and principled selection of items based on the curriculum covered in a grade level, word frequency, morphology, part of speech, and other characteristics of words. They are currently developing the word corpus and developing item types for the assessment.

The second project, Teaching with Computers: Word Annotations for Vocabulary Education (tecWAVE) is a joint project with the Computer Science department at UCSC. They are creating a software program that is being piloted in middle school science and English Language Development classrooms to help students understand unfamiliar words encountered in context. When the student clicks on a word, a pop-up window displays definitions of the word appropriate to the context, native language translations, and several pictures. The goal is to improve both comprehension of the text and word learning. [].

The third, Alliance for Language and Literacy Instruction Effecting Standards (ALLIES)is a collaborative partnership with Pajaro Valley Unified School District, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, the UCSC Writing Program , the UCSC Education Department and the Central California Writing Project. Alliance will be working with teachers at three high schools on writing instruction and the integration of the California Common Core State Standards.


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