P-20 Task Force Goal 4: Conduct basic and applied research and assessment into the science of teaching and on education policy issues.

Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language & Literacy

Description and Action Steps

CISLL is a collaborative network committed to:

  • Engaging in high-quality scientific research in language, literacy, and methodology
  • Promoting best practices in language and literacy education
  • Providing evidence-based outreach to community

In March, CISLL held an organizational meeting attended by 25 faculty and staff members from four colleges. An extraordinary variety of projects and research interests related to language and literacy were introduced. Spring activities include strategic planning sessions and several lectures presented by external guest experts.

Outcomes and Milestones

During spring 2009, CISLL established a community of scholars and researchers working in language and literacy; engaged in strategic planning for the organization; and conducted seminars that brought experts to the campus.

NIU Student Engagement

Graduate students developed and maintain the organizational infrastructure and will be working directly on research projects.


COE: Laurie Elish Piper, Janet Holt, Cecil Smith, Norm Stahl

LAS: Joe Magliano

Staff Support: Anne Darfler, GA

Contact: Anne Darfler (adarfler1@niu.edu)

CISLL Website


The Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language & Literacy (CISLL) is pleased to announce a November Seminar Series on Response to Intervention (RtI).  Please save the following dates for these informative and engaging talks. All talks will begin at either 4 or 4:30pm. Stay tuned for details.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Mark Shinn, Professor of School Psychology and Program Director at National Louis University, Expert on Curriculum-Based Measurement and RtI. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Christine Malecki, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the School Psychology Program at NIU.

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Janet Holt and Vicki Collins
Dr. Holt is Professor and Program Coordinator of Research & Assessment in the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment, NIU. Dr.Collins is Assistant Professor of Research & Assessment in the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment, NIU.

Previous Events

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
CISLL Year-End Retreat to review strategic planning progress, set future directions, and exchange ideas. All CISLL associates encouraged to attend.

Thursday, May 7, 2009, 2 p.m.
Gabel Hall 01F
Learning with Conversational Agents on Computers: Cognition, Emotion, and Metacognition
Dr. Art Graesser, Professor of Psychology and Computer Science, Director of Center for Applied Psychological Research, Co-Director of the Institute for Intelligent Systems, University of Memphis

Thursday, April 30, 2009, 12-1 p.m.
Location TBD
Informal Roundtable Luncheon for CISLL associates to discuss various topics
Look for details in an upcoming email. 

Monday, April 27, 2009, 6 p.m.
Holmes Student Center Sky Room
Who's the Pad Thai? A Pragmatic Analysis of Deferred Equatives
Gregory Ward, Department of Linguitics, Northwestern University

Monday, April 27, 2009, 3:30 p.m.
Graham Hall 342 
The Problem with 'Having Sex'
Gregory Ward, Department of Linguitics, Northwestern University

Friday, April 24, 2009, 4 p.m.
NIU Wellness & Literacy Center, Room 2305, 3100 Sycamore Rd., DeKalb
Disciplinary Literacy: Teaching the Literacy of History, Chemistry, and Mathematics
Dr. Timothy Shanahan, Director of the Center for Literacy at UIC.