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McNair Scholar 2016Fadumo Mohamed

Fadumo Mohamed is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in elementary education. Her research interests include academic language, language and identity, and literacy. Ms. Mohamed plans on obtaining her M.Ed. and attaining her Ph.D. in elementary education.

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My dreams are to continue to do research that has a positive and long-lasting impact on my community, and to expand on current research and understanding in the field of education relating to language and culturally responsive teaching

Research project

Insights into the academic language learning of Somali elementary students

Abstract: We started this study because more research is needed on this particular population of students; currently, there is a limited amount of research on Somali youth. The purpose of this study was to look at the academic language learning of Somali elementary students by tracking their vocabulary from grades 1-5 by cross-referencing their language to the First 4,000 words list by Dr. Michael Graves. This was an extant study using data collected by Dr. Helman in previous research. Preliminary results show that both students are using vocabulary appropriate for their grade and their academic language increase each year. This study will continue into fall 2016. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Lori Helman is currently an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Helman attended the University of Nevada, Reno where she received her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction in 2004. Her research expertise and interests are in the literacy development of students who are learning English, effective instructional practices with multilingual learners, and teacher development and leadership. Dr. Helman is also the director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research (MCRR) whose goal is to support a culture of engagement between the University of Minnesota, Pre-K-12 educators, and the community to connect literacy research to improved schooling. Dr. Helman is published in multiple research journals and has presented her work at conferences nationwide, and recently released book titled Inclusive literacy teaching: Differentiating approaches in multilingual elementary classrooms. This is Dr. Helman’s first year as a McNair faculty mentor.