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Acosta, Sandra Associate Professor


I specialize in bilingual education (2-language instruction) and biliteracy development, particularly for Hispanic, English learners (ELs)/emergent bilinguals (EBs). My research focuses on three areas: biliteracy (STEM) discourse development in adults (teachers) and children, professional identity formation in pre-service bilingual education teachers (teacher candidates), and mentor/instructional coaching for early career teachers. Methodological articles that I have published include: (1) primers for health professionals--practitioner research (action research) and collaborative, analytical autoethnography (CAAE); (2) and a methodological quality scale (the Methodological Quality Questionnaire [MQQ]) for systematic reviews published in Sage Open, an open access journal.

Additionally, I have worked on transdisciplinary teams as an expert in issues related to second language acquisition, bilingualism, biliteracy, and teacher professional development. My ongoing collaborations with social work and health promotion researchers have produced several publications, such as evaluations of health literacy assessment instruments translated for limited English proficient (LEP) adults and comparisons of machine versus human translations. As a result, I am now looking at natural language processing (machine language) as a tool to increase content area literacy for ELs/EBs.

Currently, I am completing a research study, funded by Texas A&M Presidential Transformational Learning Grant ("Health Literacy Page-by-Page: Incorporating Graphic Novelettes into Stem Inquiry Lessons"), on the use of graphic novelettes by pre-service teachers as a STEM curricular resource.

Research Areas research areas

HR job title

  • Associate Professor