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Developing Language and Literacy Laboratory

Research Mission

The DLL Lab researches the language and literacy development of young children from diverse backgrounds, with an emphasis on bilingual or dual language learners (DLLs).  Numerous projects are occurring in the lab that:

  • investigate cultural and environmental influences on children’s development,
  • develop assessment instruments of DLLs’ language and literacy skills, and
  • develop and evaluate home- and classroom based interventions.

Current Grants and Projects

Development of the Bilingual Assessment of Phonological Sensitivity (BAPS)

Funded by Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (R305A160081)
Role:  Principal Investigator
Dates: 2016-2020

The purpose of this project is to develop a reliable and valid, comprehensive assessment of phonological sensitivity in Spanish and English that can be used with 3-to 5-year-old DLLs.  The test, entitled the Bilingual Assessment of Phonological Sensitivity (BAPS), will efficiently measure dual language learner (DLL) preschoolers’ abilities across tasks that capture the developmental continuum of phonological sensitivity (PS).  Teachers and speech-language pathologists will be able to use the BAPS to: (a) develop an in-depth understanding of where Spanish-speaking DLLs are on the developmental continuum of PS in both languages; (b) determine where to begin instruction on PS; and (c) identify children who have difficulties with PS. 

Parents Plus: Language Coach

Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education  (R324A160070)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator (PI = Sawyer, Lehigh University)
Dates: 2016-2019

The goal of this project is to develop Parents Plus: Language Coach, an internet-based program, which will train parents to use high quality language facilitation strategies to promote the language skills of their children with language impairment. 

Bridging the Word Gap Research Network

Health Resources Service Administration (UA6MC 27762)
Role: Leadership Team Member (2016-2021); Work Group Member (2014-2016) (PI: Carta, University of Kansas)
Dates:  2014-2021

The primary goal of the Bridging the Word Network is to reduce the number of children who enter school with delays in language and literacy.

Exceptional Coaching for Early Language and Literacy-Enhanced

Investing in Innovation, U.S. Department of Education (U411C110111)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator (PI: Wasik)
Dates: 2012-2017

ExCELL (Exceptional Coaching for Early Language and Literacy) is a web-based, data-driven professional development model that trains preschool and kindergarten teachers on evidence-based language and literacy instructional techniques. ExCELL focuses on building oral language skills, including vocabulary and phonological sensitivity, that are critical for learning to read but often overlooked in early-grade classrooms.  The purpose of this project is to develop and test the effectiveness of the PD program.