Mary J. Schleppegrell
Mary Schleppegrell's research explores the relationship between language and learning with a focus on students for whom English is a second language. A linguist, she uses systemic functional linguistics to explore the meaning in language in ways that illuminate issues in education. Her research investigates the ways language can be an explicit focus of instruction to provide meaningful support for students across school subjects and levels.
She is in the final year of a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences, "The iterative development of modules to support teachers’ engagement in Exploring Language and Meaning in Text with English language learners," with co-PI Annemarie Palincsar. Using an approach based on functional grammar, they have been developing an approach to preparing teachers to focus students on the language choices an author has made as a means of exploring connections between form and meaning and helping English language learners learn how English works. The approach also supports teachers in being explicit in writing instruction about language choices that enable writing different genres in different disciplinary areas.
Her recent book, Focus on Grammar and Meaning, with Luciana deOliveira, (Oxford University Press, 2015) offers primary and secondary teachers of second language students strategies based in research to support them in learning grammar while also learning school subjects. She has worked with the California History Project since 2000, and will be a plenary speaker at their 25th anniversary conference in southern California in November 2015. Along with history and mathematics, she is also interested more generally in supporting teachers in learning about the challenges of language across content areas. Her books Reading in Secondary Content Areas: A Language-Based Pedagogy (with Zhihui Fang, 2008, University of Michigan Press) and The Language of Schooling: A Functional Linguistics Perspective (2004, Erlbaum) describe these challenges and offer ways of working with students across the curriculum in engaging with the language in ways expected in school subjects.
Schleppegrell received her PhD in linguistics from Georgetown University. She teaches courses on language development, discourse analysis, systemic functional linguistics, linguistics in education, and second-language development.
|7/1/2010 - 6/30/2013||The Iterative Development of Modules to Support Teachers' Engagement in Exploring Language and Meaning in Text with English-Language Learners
Granting Agency: U.S. Department of Education/Institute of Education Sciences
|4/7/2007 - 4/7/2007||Supporting English learners - reading comprehension
Granting Agency: Michigan Department of Education
Courses & Syllabi
|Term||Catalogue Course Description||Syllabus|
|Fall 2010||EDUC 706. Seminar: Issues in Research on Literacy||EDUC 706. Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics
|Fall 2011||EDUC 525. Language and Learning in Home and School Settings||EDUC 525. Language & Learning in Home & School Settings