Rigorous Opportunities for Young-children to Accelerate Language: Effects of the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) Model
The School of Education is leading a professional development program called Project ROYAL (Rigorous Opportunities for Young-children to Accelerate Language): Effects of the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) Model. The two primary goals of Project ROYAL are to improve and increase classroom strategies in grades TK-3 to advance outcomes of English Learners and other students and to help build the bilingual teacher pipeline and support a replicable model.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the multi-year grant project includes partnerships with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) - Local District Central, LAUSD's Multicultural and Multilingual Education Department (MMED), the Wexford Institute, and the Sobrato Family Foundation (SFF), developer of the SEAL Model. The project will provide intensive professional development to 84 in-service teachers and 18 LMU School of Education pre-service teachers. Also, the Center for Equity for English Learners at LMU will research the effects of the SEAL model.
Project ROYAL teacher participants are trained in SEAL Model strategies, which research has shown to increase English Learner student achievement and language growth*. "There has been a spark that has gone off in my mind and heart. I've been so inspired by what I've seen and heard," stated a Project ROYAL teacher after participating in a SEAL Model Professional Development at her campus. In addition to providing professional development to participating teachers, the project also offers multiple opportunities for family engagement through classroom gallery walks and parent workshops. Finally, the project builds leadership capacity by including leadership and professional development for coaches, principals, and district leadership.
Project ROYAL comes in the wake of the passage of Proposition 58, which was embraced by voters in November 2016 and repealed restrictive English-only education for English Learners. In 2017, the State Board of Education adopted the English Learner Roadmap, which guides districts in understanding and educating the linguistically diverse students. As well, the State Superintendent recently launched Global California 2030, an initiative dedicated to expanding multilingual programs in public schools throughout the state.
As it enters its fourth year of implementation, Project ROYAL is a model for how the state can lead systemic change, build leadership capacity, and create a sustainable program that improves the outcomes of English Learners and all students.
Preliminary project outcomes were presented at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition: National Professional Development Grant Director's Meeting in November 2019. Please click here to view the preliminary project outcomes.
* Lindholm-Leary, K. (2012). Sobrato Family Foundation Early Academic and Literacy Project After Five Full Years of Implementation; Final Research Report.