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Project TALCA Staff

Senior Advisor

A professor of Education and chair of the Teacher Education, Special Education and Curriculum and Instruction Department at the Lynch School of Education, Maria Estela Brisk received her Ph.D. in linguistics and bilingual education at the University of New Mexico. Her research and teacher-training interests include elementary students’ writing development, bilingual education, bilingual language and literacy acquisition, methods of teaching literacy, and preparation of mainstream teachers to work with bilingual learners. Dr. Brisk has served as a consultant in legal matters pertaining to bilingual education, and has worked closely with regional and local groups and school systems in developing their bilingual programs as well as mainstream programs that include bilingual learners. Dr. Brisk was the 1991 Boston University recipient of the Metcalf Cup and Metcalf Prize for excellence in teaching. She is the author of the books Bilingual Education: From Compensatory to Quality Schooling, Literacy and Bilingualism: A Handbook for ALL Teachers, Situational Context of Education: A Window into the World of Bilingual Learners, and Language, Culture, and Community in Teacher Education. Professor Brisk, a native of Argentina, is a fluent speaker of Spanish..

Co-Principal Investigator

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Anne Homza has taught in ESL, literacy, bilingual and dual language programs in Puerto Rico and Massachusetts. She has worked with parents, students and teachers, as a bilingual classroom teacher, a literacy teacher and as a bilingual literacy specialist.  Dr. Homza's research has included action research as well as classroom-based teacher research.  Her research interests include the development of bilingual writing skills in children and bilingual literacy in general.  During her time at the Lynch School Dr. Homza has studied pre-service teacher practices with ELLs in the context of one-on-one classroom read alouds and is currently involved in projects in which pre-service teachers gain knowledge and competence in implementing instructional practices that focus teaching academic language in the content areas.  In addition to managing the project TALCA, Dr. Homza teaches TELL courses.

Language and Literary Specialist

Dr. Patrick Proctor is an assistant professor of literacy and language arts at the Boston College Lynch School of Education.  His research interests revolve around the language and literacy development of bilingual and immigrant children.  His current work targets the development of vocabulary and reading comprehension among native English and native Spanish speakers, investigating the speed and depth with which bilingual learners acquire English in schools, the role of Spanish language development, and the inherent teaching and policy implications.  Before arriving at Boston College, Dr. Proctor was a third and fourth grade bilingual teacher, a district administrator, and an education specialist with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Doctoral Assistant

Kevin O’Connor has a MA in Applied Linguistics from UMass Boston and is currently a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at Boston College. As a teacher and administrator in DOE-funded agencies, he has taught ESL, workplace literacy, developmental reading and writing, GED and TOEFL prep, and college English to adults and older youth.  Through teaching and trainings, he has been working to help BC secondary education majors learn to support ELLs in their content area classrooms. As part of the Title III grant, he has been preparing, revising, and delivering Academic Language trainings that are aimed at helping pre-service teachers scaffold instruction that meets the needs of all learners.  Along with Dr. Anne Homza, he is working on a longitudinal study on how content-area teacher candidates develop both an awareness of the challenges of academic language for ELLs, and strategies for how to address them.

Doctoral Assistant

Laura Schall-Leckrone is currently a doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction program at Boston College.  She has a BA from Swarthmore College and an MAT from the School for International Training, where she also taught graduate courses in Spanish linguistics and trained ESL teachers.  Laura has taught content-based Spanish and ESL classes in bilingual programs and Spanish at the secondary level.  She has provided K-12 leadership in public school systems in world languages, English language learning, social studies, reading, writing, English language arts, and service-learning.   Laura’s role on Project TALCA is to collaboratively develop, teach, and research an intervention to prepare history teachers to work with English language learners.  Laura’s research interests include academic and disciplinary literacy, preparation of teachers to work with bilingual students, and collaborative leadership and learning models for public school teachers.

Doctoral Assistant, Mathematics

Karen has a M.Ed. degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has taught mathematics in the greater Boston area for the past ten years at the middle school, high school, and post-secondary levels. Currently, Karen is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on Mathematics, Science, and Technology. She is committed to investigating the ways in which mathematics can be accessible to all students, especially students of color and English-language learners. Karen’s role with Project TALCA is conducting the study within the secondary mathematics program at Boston College; the goal being to analyze how the training pre-service teachers receive in addressing the language demands of mathematics transfers into their actual practices.

Doctoral Assistant, Read Aloud Manager

Güliz Turgut has a BA degree from Bosphorus University (Istanbul, Turkey) from the Foreign Language Education Department. She taught English to underprivileged elementary students in Turkey as well as to adults preparing for the TOEFL exam. In addition to teaching English, she also taught Turkish to graduate students interested in learning Turkish. After these experiences, she came to Boston College and earned her MED in Curriculum and Instruction. Recently, she began pursuing her doctoral degree in the same field working with Dr. Annie Homza as a Read Aloud project manager. She is working with pre-service teachers and their supervisors on the Read Aloud Project by preparing and giving trainings. She is committed to democratizing schools by preparing pre-service teachers to work effectively with English language learners. She is also interested in technology, literacy, new literacies and the digital disconnect between schools and students’ out-of-school experiences.

Graduate Assistant

James received his BA in Psychology and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007. While working for Anne Homza Ed.D. James completed his first masters in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College in 2009. James is now working on his second masters in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College. His research is directed at students with disabilities and their transition form secondary to post-secondary institutions.

Undergraduate Assistant