My training has been largely multidisciplinary, with a background in linguistics (BA, York University) developmental psychology and education within a cross-cultural model (EdM, EdD, Harvard University). As a result, my work is focused on the development of language and its relationship to early literacy, specifically with reference to children from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and children with language-based learning difficulties. From a social interactionist theoretical framework in children’s language, I am currently addressing a number of lines of research in collaboration with other scholars and our own students here at Ryerson.
One current project that is nearing completion is entitled The Role of Discourse in Listening and Reading Comprehension among Children with Language Impairment (SSHRC). This project looks at oral language ability such as narrative and considers the role that it may play from kindergarten through grade 4 in children’s ability to understand text. This is an ongoing study in collaboration with Christiane Kyte (chief SLP, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board) and a team of undergraduate and graduate students in ECS. Another project that is underway is in collaboration with Early Childhood Development Initiative (ECDI) to develop a Nigerian model of play-based early learning, in collaboration with Patricia Falope (CEO, ECDI) and a team of students to travel to Abuja in the spring of 2016.