Gisela O'Brien joined the staff at CEEL|LMU in 2003 to oversee the Journalism for English Learners Program implemented at several school districts both in Central and Southern California. She also supports the Center's efforts in research, curriculum and professional development focusing on the instruction of English Learners.
As an educator, she has worked as a bilingual teacher, staff developer and curriculum/materials designer and curriculum specialist in the areas of literacy, ELD and SDAIE. Dr. O'Brien has served as a project advisor and coordinator for several research grants as well as advisor/revieer at the state and national level including the Framework for English Language Development Standards.
She has co-authored and published several articles in educational journals and books on bilingual education and models for staff development.
Dr. O'Brien earned a B.S. in Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.S. degree in Educational Leadership from California State University, Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis on Language, Literacy and Learning from the University of Southern California
University of Southern California: PhD, Education, Language, Literacy and Learning 2007
Dissertation Title: "The instructional features across three different approaches to oral English language development instruction"
California State University: MA, Educational Administration
University of California: BS, Biology
Areas of Expertise (3)
Second Language and Curriculum Development
Industry Expertise (2)
EDSS 5002: Theories of Second Language Acquisition
Course content includes theoretical perspectives in first and second language learning, language teaching methodologies, assessment, identification, and program placement for Limited English Proficient students with and without disabilities. Historical, political, legal, and social factors related to second language acquisition are addressed, including the history of bilingual education; federal, state, and local legislation; bilingual education models; and the role of parents and paraprofessionals in English language development.
Oral language developmentEducating English language learners: A synthesis of the research. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Getting the most out of school-based professional developmentReconceptualizing Literacy in the New Age of Pluralism and Multiculturalism