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Research Projects

Below are the research projects Dr. Lau is or has been involved with

Co-Investigator, Integrating critical/media literacies in plurilingual and pluricultural teacher education (CAD 200,000)

  • Funding Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant 

  • Objective: Create partnerships between plurilingual/pluricultural teacher educators and critical media/communications and STEM literacies experts to co-develop teacher-validated, teacher-actionable models of intervention to engage educators and in turn students to enhance their critical/media literacies.

  • Research Team: Angel Lin (principal investigator), Sunny Man Chu Lau, Dawn Wiseman, Sean Chorney, Wendy Chun, Steve Marshall, Arlene Spracklin, Maurice M. W. Cheng, & Saskia Van Viegen

Co-researcher, English language and literature: In-depth learning (CAD 245,629)

  • Funding Agency: Norwegian Partnership Program for International Teacher Education

  • Objective: To explore the ways in which we can promote the use of literature for creative and critical language learning with global perspectives. Our research project involves faculty and student exchanges for knowledge building and mobilization.

  • Research team: Janice Bland (project coordinator), Sunny Man Chu Lau (local project coordinator), Nayr Ibrahim, Corinne Haigh, Charlotta Langejan, & Wendy King

Principal Investigator, Supporting Chinese transnational students’ French additional language learning through the use of plurilingual pedagogies (CAD 24,000)

  • Funding Agency: Bishop’s University Interdisciplinary Team Grant

  • Objective: The goal of this collaborative action research is to develop plurilingual approaches to support transnational Chinese students in their learning of French by drawing on their plurilingual and pluricultural resources.

  • Research Team: Sunny Man Chu Lau, Sarah Théberge & Caroline Dault

Co-Investigateur, Renforcer les compétences en lecture et en écriture des adultes en francisation dans le but de favoriser l’engagement et la réussite dans les formations postsecondaires qualifiantes (CAD 50,000)

  • Funding Agency: Pôle régional en enseignement supérieur de l’Estrie (PRESE) – The Higher Education Hub – Estrie

  • Objective: The project aims to support allophone students in their transition from the francization program to post-secondary education by creating a complementary training program.

  • Research team: Olivier Dezutter and Paule Dion (principal investigators), Sunny Man Chu Lau, Sarah Théberge, & Marie-Maude Cayouette.

Co-Investigateur, Les effets de la participation à un programme d’anglais intensif sur les compétences en littératie : la situation des élèves en difficultés d’apprentissage et des élèves allophones à la transition du primaire au secondaire (CAD 190,370)

  • Funding Agency: FRQSC-Actions concertées programme de recherche en littératie

  • Objective: A longitudinal mixed method study to explore the teaching and learning strategies and environment that promote reciprocal development in reading and writing skills in French and English for allophone students and students with special needs in Intensive English program in Quebec.

  • Research team: Veronique Parent (principal investigator), Olivier Dezutter, Corinne Haigh, Sunny Man Chu Lau, & Lynn Thomas

Co-researcher, Multilingual Approaches to Assessment and Education Symposium (CAD 13,455)

  • Funding Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connection Grant

  • Objective: This project intends to bring together internationally renowned researchers, local policymakers and education system leaders to share and discuss critical issues concerning multilingual approaches to assessment policy and practice.

  • Research team: Saskia Van Viegen (principal investigator), Sunny Man Chu Lau & Angel Lin.

Principal Investigator, Plurilingual integrated learning: Building cross-language and cross-curricular connections to support allophone and underachieved Cégep students’ language and content learning (CAD 50,000)

  • Funding Agency: PRESE –the Higher Education Hub—Estrie

  • Objective: To continue and extend the previous FRQSC-funded collaborative action research project with Cégep professors to set up a learning community to explore effective plurilingual teaching strategies and create relevant resources to raise metalinguistic awareness, build language connections, and mobilize students’ plurilingual repertoires for effective learning in both language and content areas.

Principal Investigator, French and ESL professors’ cross-curricular collaborations: Enhancing Cégep allophone students’ academic and social integration through plurilingual and multiliteracies pedagogies (CAD 38,656)

  • Funding Agency: Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture, Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs

  • Objective: This research study aims to explore the educational potential of strategic curricular collaboration between French and English Cégep instructors in promoting academic biliteracy learning of their diverse underachieved students through the use of plurilingual multiliteracies approaches that value students’ entire communicative repertories for meaningful learning.

Co-investigateur, Création d’une banque de ressources didactiques pour la formation universitaire des enseignants de langues secondes (CAD 232,000)

  • Funding Agency: Entente Canada- Québec

  • Objective: To create an online portal, Radar L2,  for French and English L2 teaching and learning resources

  • Research team: Olivier Dezutter (principal investigator), Lynn Thomas, Sunny Man Chu Lau, & Corinne Haigh

Co-Investigator : Les pratiques d’enseignement soutenant le développement des compétences en lecture et en écriture des élèves allophones intégrés dans les classes régulières à la transition du primaire et du secondaire (CAD 175000)

  • Funding Agency: Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture, Actions concertées Lecture-écriture

  • Objective: To work alongside French teachers to support allophone students’ integration and transition into mainstream classrooms in elementary and secondary schools.

  • Research team: Olivier Dezutter (principal investigator), Christiane Blaser, Godelieve Debeurme, Corinne Haigh, Sunny Man Chu Lau, Véronique Parent, Lynn Thomas, Isabelle Dufour (CSRS) et Viviane Guimond (CSRS)

Principal Investigator, Bridging the gap: Decolonizing global relations through a joint critical inquiry in ESL education (CAD 9000)

  • Funding Agency: Bishop’s Senate Research Committee (Research and Creative Activity Grants). As the top ranked researcher in SSHRC disciplines in Winter 2017 competition, $5834 came from the SSHRC Institutional Grant awarded to Bishop’s in 2017-18; $3166 came from Bishop’s Foundation in 2016-17.

  • Objective: The project aims to investigate how a joint inquiry by both Malawian teachers and Bishop’s education students into the sociopolitical issues of ESL and critical pedagogy might help decolonize the enduring unequal relationship in international education development

  • Research Team: Sunny Man Chu Lau & Melanie Bennett-Stonebanks

Co-investigateur, Le développement de la compétence à écrire en langue première et en langue seconde à la fin du primaire dans des contextes d’intensification de l’enseignement de la langue seconde (CAD 251,320)

  • Funding Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Subventions Savoir CRSH)

  • Objective: To investigate students’ writing development in their first and second languages at the end of primary education in intensive and/or immersion contexts.

  • Research Team: Olivier Dezutter, Sunny Man Chu Lau, Ismail Bou-Serdane, Véronique Parent, Corinne Haigh​

Principal Investigator, Language Connections: French and English teachers’ collaboration for critical bi-literacy learning (CAD 68,559)

  • Funding Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant

  • Objective: This research project is built on the pilot study I did with two elementary school teachers to investigate the impact of interdisciplinary collaborations on students’ cross-language and curricular connections,  complex bi-literacy and critical literacy learning and their identities of competence as (developing) bilinguals through inquiry in social issues related to social justice.

Principal Investigator, Linking languages: Enhancing students’ bi-literacy skills through a collaborative critical literacy project, Bishop’s University (CAD 7,000)

  • Funding Agency: Senate Research Committee Grant

  • Objective: This participatory action research project looks into the collaboration of an English Language Arts teacher and a French Second Language teacher in engaging their students in critical exploration of issues related to social justice in both English and French, and how such effort affects students’ biliteracy and critical literacy development.

Researcher, Collectif de Recherche sur la Continuité des Apprentissages en Lecture et en Écriture (CAD 67,076)

  • Funding Agency: FRQSC Grant

  • Objective: To develop collaborative research programs on sustained literacy engagement among students at different grade and proficiency levels.

Researcher, International Research Network–Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners

  • Funding Agency: The network was first set up in 2009 with the Canadian SSHRC Partnerships Development Grant and is now maintained by research grants from partner countries which include Scotland, Iceland, Finland and Norway.

  • Objective: To develop a network that explores diverse students’ experiences in schools, how students benefit from linguistically and culturally diverse teachers and how the teaching force generally benefits from diversification, how diverse teachers in the different countries effect and contribute to diverse teaching practices and school cultures, and how teacher education in the different countries should develop and take into account the diversification of teachers and students.

Principal Investigator, Language Portrait: Preparing Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners, Bishop’s University

  • Funding Agency: This project was developed out of the international research network Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners

  • Objective: To focus on the use of life history to prepare teachers of diverse students.

Principal Investigator, Teaching English-as-a-second-language: A Critical Approach,  Mae Sot Education Project, Bishop’s University

  • Funding Agency: Pathy’s Family Foundation

  • Objective: To carry out a critical action research on the training program offered for volunteers to teach ESL from a critical pedagogy perspective

Research Assistant, Engaging Literacies: Identity Texts as Catalyst and Medium for Academic Performance, OISE/UT

Supervisor: Dr. J. Cummins (Canada Research Chair in Literacy Education)

  • Funding Agency: The project was funded by the Canadian Research Center (CRC)

Principal Investigator, Practising Critical Literacy with English Language Learners: An Integrative Approach, OISE/UT

Thesis Supervisor: Dr. J. Cummins, Canada Research Chair in Literacy Education

  • Objective: To research critical literacy education with beginning immigrant English language learners using a participatory action research method.

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