The University of Notre Dame is launching a new office to support teaching English language arts. The James R. Squire Office of Policy Research in the English Language Arts aims to encourage the use of digital resources and incorporate pop culture into the curriculum to help engage students. 

The new office will operate under the direction of the University’s Center for Literacy Education. Ernest Morrell, the Coyle Professor of Literacy Education and director of the Notre Dame Center for Literacy Education, will lead the initiative. 

The office also says it will conduct studies on English language arts teachers, teaching conditions and student achievement. The research and outcomes will be made public and accessible on a national scale. 

“As language continues to evolve, along with our understanding of how people learn it, solid literacy education research is essential to turning what we know into what we do in classrooms,” said Morrell, a former president of NCTE in a news release. “Through the vast network of the National Council of Teachers of English, we will tap the expertise of exceptional researchers and practitioners and make the Squire Office a leading voice in moving literacy education forward.”

The office is slated to open this fall.