Marlene Zepeda, PhD

Marlene Zepeda

Professor Emeritus of Child and Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles

Marlene Zepeda is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Child and Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. A former preschool and elementary school teacher, Dr. Zepeda’s scholarship focuses on dual language learning in Spanish-speaking preschool children and child development in Latino infants and toddlers. Dr. Zepeda has participated in a number of activities relevant to dual language learners. For the California State Department of Education, Dr. Zepeda led a group of national experts in the development of California’s Early Learning Foundations for English Language Development for 3- and 4-year-olds, the first effort of its kind in the nation, and contributed to a series of research papers and video material associated with California’s Best Practices for Dual Language Learners. She has authored a number of publications focused on the development of dual language learners including a set of teacher competencies for dual language learners and recently contributed a commissioned paper focused on workforce development for the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's report entitled Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures. Her most recent publication is entitled “Language, learning and disability in the era of accountability” in D. C. Castro, & A. Artiles (Eds.), Language, Learning and Disability: Issues and Opportunities in the Education of Young Bilingual Children, and she is currently contributing to California's Infant-Toddler Guidelines with a focus on dual language learners. She was a Co-PI for a study of the efficacy of a preschool curriculum developed for Spanish-speaking preschool children learning English, The Nuestro Niños School Readiness Study, and is currently collaborating on a research study focused on the utility of two different assessment tools for capturing pedagogical practice with dual language learners. Dr. Zepeda participated as a member of the Technical Working Group for the National Center for Early Care and Education Research: Dual Language Learners and on the Research Advisory Board to Los Angeles County's Office of Child Care STEP Project, a quality rating system for early education settings, where she was also an advisory member to the Race to the Top Learning Grant – Professional Development Stakeholder’s Group. Dr. Zepeda is a member of the Campaign for Quality Early Education, a California advocacy group that lobbies on behalf of dual language learners, and currently is a member of Los Angeles' First Five Commission. Marlene received her BA in child development from California State University, Los Angeles and her MA and PhD degrees in developmental studies and early childhood education from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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