News Release| Doctoral Student Scholar; Cal State L.A.

Note to news directors and journalists: To request a photo or an interview with Ana Osipova, please call the CSULA Public Affairs office in advance at (323) 343-3050.

Cal State L.A.’s doctoral student obtains special education research honor

Osipova’s research focuses on foreign-language learning among adolescents with learning disabilities

Picture of CSULA student Anna Osipova.

Los Angeles, CA -- Cal State L.A.’s doctoral student Anna Osipova of South Pasadena was recently selected by the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Research (CEC-DR) through a national competition to participate in the 2010-2011 cohort of Doctoral Student Scholars in Special Education Research.

Nominated by CSULA Professor and Faculty Adviser Diane Haager, Osipova—along with only nine other CEC-DR Doctoral Student Scholars—will participate in an online seminar and discussion series designed to foster connections among students at different universities and contribute to raising the standard of research in the field through sustained inquiry into the question, “What makes for excellence in special education research?”

Seminars will be led by noted scholars recognized for making outstanding contributions to the field. The culminating seminar will be held at CEC’s national conference in Maryland’s National Harbor in April 2011.

Osipova said, “This award holds so much meaning to me. I am honored, excited and humbled. I can’t wait for the seminars to begin, as I am thrilled to be able to work closely with the top well-established scholars in the field as well as the new upcoming generation of the special education scholars. I know that I will learn so much from participation in the cohort of doctoral student scholars, and the knowledge that I will gain will make my special education research and practice even more meaningful.”

“I am proud to represent CSULA and the Division of Special Education and Counseling. I feel that this award validates all the mentorship and nurture that my adviser, Diane Haager, and the faculty of the division have given me,” she added.

Osipova is a doctoral candidate in the CSULA-UCLA Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education. The focus of her thesis and research is “Paradigm of Success in Foreign Language Learning for Adolescents with Learning Disabilities.”

In my doctoral research, I plan to investigate the paradigm of successful foreign language instruction for adolescent students with learning disabilities (LD) in inclusive foreign language classrooms in public schools,” explained Osipova. “At the moment, more than 90 percent of secondary students with LD take their foreign language classes in general education settings; however, many of them drop their foreign language classes within the first year of studies. The cycle of struggle-discouragement-drop out continues the past trends of exclusion of students with LD from foreign language classrooms in particular and from general education in general. This prevents adolescents with LD from obtaining crucial linguistic and social skills, which limits their college choices and success in job competition. I seek to establish effective ways to support these students in a challenging environment that places a great demand on their language skills, study skills and social skills.”

Addressing the opportunity to be a student of the CSULA-UCLA joint doctoral program, Osipova said, “I consider myself exceptionally lucky. Having the luxury of working with the best scholars in the fields of special education, education, language studies and psychology, as well as getting an excellent training in research methods empowers and inspires me. I feel that the program allows me to apply the fresh theoretical knowledge that I gain daily to the real-life practice of teachers and students in public schools. This program bridges research and practice and brings forth the best in both domains.”

Osipova, along with Professor Haager, is currently developing a collaborative model of ongoing professional development and support for special-education teachers that involves up-front professional development sessions, monthly cohort meetings for collaborative lesson planning, and ongoing coaching using video self-reflection techniques.

For the past year and a half, Osipova has served as the editorial assistant for the CEC Division of Learning Disabilities journal, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, under the directorship of the co-editors, Haager and Christine Espin. Osipova received her bachelor’s and first master's degree in education and linguistics from The Russian State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, Russia, and her second master’s degree in Special Education from CSULA.

In a nomination letter, Haager wrote: “I believe that Anna is an outstanding candidate for the CEC-DR doctoral scholars program. Not only has she demonstrated excellence in her coursework, but she has also shown a strong commitment to research in special education. Her background in applied linguistics has strengthened her knowledge base and allowed her to branch out into the areas of reading and language development as applied to students with learning disabilities. She is an exemplary scholar.”

The CEC-DR is devoted to the advancement of research related to the education of individuals with disabilities and/or who are gifted. The goals of CEC-DR include the promotion of equal partnership with practitioners in designing, conducting and interpreting research in special education. For more information, see the website:

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