AVEL is a three-year study funded by a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The study has two primary aims:

  • To better understand the factors that affect performance of English language learners (ELs) on assessments of academic vocabulary.
  • To use this knowledge to refine an existing assessment of academic vocabulary so that it is psychometrically and theoretically sound for ELs.

The study will be completed in three phases:

  1. Archival data analysis using explanatory item response models (eIRT)
  2. Creating and piloting new items based on information from Phase 1
  3. Collecting additional data to validate the improved and piloted assessment.

Phase 2 is currently underway.

Research Team

AVEL is a collaboration between researchers at TIMES at the University of Houston, and the University of Oslo.

Primary Investigator: David Francis, Ph.D., University of Houston

Co-Investigator: Joshua Lawrence, Ph.D., University of Oslo

Co-Investigator: Paulina Kulesz, Ph.D., University of Houston

Post-doctoral researcher: Autumn McIlraith, Ph.D., University of Houston

Doctoral student: Rebecca Knoph, M.S., University of Oslo

Research assistant: Martin Walczak