Language for Learning Institute


Photo of Letty Martinez

Letty Martinez

Dr. Leticia Martinez is the director of the Language for Learning Institute. For more information, read Martinez's full bio.

Photo of David Francis

David Francis

Dr. David J. Francis is a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston, where he also serves as director of the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics and co-director of the Texas Learning and Computation Center. Francis is currently chairman of the Executive Board of the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology and a fellow of Division 5 (Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics) of the American Psychology Association. His areas of quantitative interest include modeling of individual growth, multilevel and mixture modeling, structural equation modeling, item response theory, and exploratory data analysis. He has collaborated in research on reading and reading disabilities, attention problems, developmental consequences of brain injuries and birth defects, and adolescent alcohol abuse. He obtained his doctorate degree in clinical neuropsychology from the University of Houston in 1985 with a specialization in quantitative methods. To contact Francis, visit the University of Houston website.

Photo of Elfrieda Hiebert

Elfrieda Hiebert

Dr. Elfrieda “Freddy” H. Hiebert is president and chief executive officer of TextProject. Hiebert received her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has worked in the field of early reading acquisition for 40 years, first as a teacher’s aide and teacher of primary-level students in California and, subsequently, as a teacher educator and researcher at the universities of Kentucky, Colorado-Boulder, Michigan, and California-Berkeley. Her research addresses ways to support students who depend on schools to become literate. Her particular interests include how to foster fluency, vocabulary, and knowledge through appropriate texts. Hiebert’s research has been published in numerous scholarly journals. She has also authored or edited nine books, the most recent being Revisiting Silent Reading: New Directions for Teachers and Researchers (International Reading Association; with D. Ray Reutzel). Through documents such as Becoming a Nation of Readers (Center for the Study of Reading, 1985) and Every Child a Reader (Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement), she has contributed to making research accessible to educators. Hiebert’s model of accessible texts for beginning and struggling readers, TExT, has been used to develop several reading programs that are widely used in schools. She is the 2008 recipient of the William S. Gray Citation of Merit, awarded by the International Reading Association, and is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame.

Photo of Deborah Short

Deborah Short

Dr. Deborah J. Short is a senior research associate affiliated with the Center for Applied Linguistics, a nonprofit organization for language education research, policy, and practice in Washington, D.C. Short co-developed the research-validated SIOP Model for sheltered instruction and has directed quasi-experimental and experimental studies on English language learners funded by the Carnegie Corporation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. She chaired an expert panel on adolescent English language learner literacy and co-authored the policy report Double the Work. She recently completed a 3-year study of newcomer programs for middle and high school English language learners, culminating in the report Helping Newcomer Students Succeed in Secondary Schools and Beyond. As director of Academic Language Research and Training, a consulting group, Short works with districts in the United States and abroad on professional development and curriculum design for sheltered instruction and academic literacy. She has authored numerous publications, including books on the SIOP Model and National Geographic Learning's ESL series: Edge, Inside, Reach, High Point, and Avenues. Her research articles have appeared in TESOL Quarterly, Language Teaching Research, Journal of Educational Research, Educational Leadership, Education and Urban Society, Social Education, and Journal of Research in Education.

Photo of Leticia Romero Grimaldo

Leticia Romero Grimaldo

Dr. Leticia Romero Grimaldo currently serves as co-principal investigator of the English Learner Institute for Teaching and Excellence (Project ELITE2), funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the project is to develop, implement, and evaluate tiered intervention models for students who are English language learners. Previously, Grimaldo served as the project manager for the Texas Institute for the Acquisition of Language for Learning, which assisted schools throughout the state with their programs of instruction for English language learners through technical assistance and professional development. She has extensive experience developing and providing professional development in the areas of promoting school leadership, meeting the needs of English language learners, and facilitating change in schools. She is also an adjunct professor for Texas State University–San Marcos, where she teaches master's-level courses within the Education and Community Leadership Program.

Photo of Colleen Reutebuch

Colleen Reutebuch

Dr. Colleen Reutebuch is a director of the Reading Institute, project director of the External Evaluator for National Center for System Improvement and the National Deaf Center, principal investigator of the Targeting the 2 Percent project, and co-principal investigator on Project READ. For more information, read Reutebuch's full bio.

Photo of Greg Roberts

Greg Roberts

Dr. Greg Roberts is the senior associate director of MCPER. For more information, read Roberts' full bio.

Photo of Gleb Furman

Gleb Furman

Photo of Shannon Giroir

Shannon Giroir

Dr. Shannon Giroir currently serves as a co-investigator within the English Learner Institute for Teaching and Excellence (Project ELITE2), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Through this collaborative research initiative with elementary educators, she coordinates the design, development, and dissemination of K-5 educator tools, deliverables, and trainings in the areas of literacy, multitiered instruction for ELs, and second language acquisition. As part this research-to-practice project, Giroir also leads the development of web content for K-5 educators and school leaders, translating project findings for multiple audiences. Giroir has previously served as a master trainer for the Texas Literacy Achievement Academies and the Reading to Learn Academies, and has developed online course content a digital resource bank to support Texas school districts in implementing the state-wide Texas Literacy Initiative.