ACE for English Language Learners: An Online Professional Development Program

By Weol Soon Kim-Rupnow and Peter W. Dowrick.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this federally funded 5-year project, ACE (Actual Community Empowerment) for English Language Learners (ELL-ACE), is to develop, provide, and evaluate high-quality Professional Development (PD) activities that will result in improved academic achievement with enhanced English skills and motivation of ELL students. An online PD course is currently being developed based on ACE Reading and related research over the past decade.
ACE Reading is a literacy improvement program, developed and implemented for students with reading difficulties in communities with high levels of need. With US Department of Education support, we developed a family of ACE programs, from preschool Pre-K ACE to TeenACE and beyond, incorporating multimedia and community resources. Our efficacy studies have demonstrated a reduction in students being placed in exclusionary services; 95% of project participants improve their reading 1-5 grade levels, becoming comparable to their classmates. The technology and protocols produced promising evaluations in mainstream US (Philadelphia and Kentucky), in English-as-second-language countries (Micronesia, American Samoa), and in Hawai‘i in between. This article provides a brief overview of diverse ACE programs, theoretical and conceptual frameworks, and the current implementation status of ELL-ACE and lessons learned.

Keywords: English as a Second Language, Professional Development, Literacy, Creating Futures

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 11, pp.241-248. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 580.631KB).

Dr. Weol Soon Kim-Rupnow

Associate Professor, Center on Disability Studies, College of Education, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, USA

Dr. Kim-Rupnow is Associate Professor of Disability Studies at the College of Education, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She has been an educator at all levels from elementary schools to colleges for over two decades. She has a record of successful relationships with funding organizations, especially with the U.S. Department of Education. She successfully implemented and completed several grant projects and brought in subsequent and related grant projects: From being a coordinator of “ACE Reading,” she became a Co-PI (Co-Principal Investigator) of two subsequent projects: “Computer ACE Reading” Phase I (development) and Phase II (research phase). She is now the PI of the ACE Reading for English Language Learners Literacy: Professional Development Program.

Peter W. Dowrick

Professor, Center on Disability Studies, College of Education, Graduate Studies in Psychology, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, USA

Dr. Peter W. Dowrick is Professor of Disability Studies and Graduate Studies in Psychology at University of Hawai‘i. He has degrees in clinical/developmental psychology, mathematics, and speech and theatre. Dr. Dowrick received the 2005 Distinguished Contribution to Practice Award of Div. 27, American Psychological Association, for his work in prevention and community action; 30,000 children and adults have participated in programs designed and organized by him in the last 7 years, in minority communities. He is recognized as the leading international expert in video self modeling and the ACE family of supplemental education programs, invited to provide training and consultation in 25 countries. His research includes indigenous and ELL education, autism and most other developmental disabilities, serious mental illness, issues of social behavior, behavior disorders, sports and recreation, daily living, and health, among others. His overarching contribution has been in the concepts of feedforward and creating futures including which he has articulated and scientifically studied in applied research. His 130+ publications (books, chapters, articles, films and videos) include 80 refereed journal articles on topics in all the noted areas. Visit


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