Research Statement

Inspired by my own early experiences learning Spanish and English and my years as a literacy coach in bilingual early childhood classrooms, my research bridges the fields of language and literacy development, bilingualism, and early childhood education in three strands. First, I aim to identify contextual factors that promote children’s sustained development in a minoritized home language. My work in this area includes development of a new scale to measure parent attitudes toward bilingualism and a longitudinal study of bilingual parent-child interactions spanning the transition to school (age 3-6). Second, I examine variability in parent and teacher language practices across activity settings (e.g., book sharing vs. free play, whole group vs. small group) to understand when and where supportive adult-child interactions naturally occur. For example, I use daylong child-centered recordings to investigate the quantity and quality of Spanish input across activities in the home. Third, I draw on findings from the first two strands to develop interventions that leverage existing cultural assets to support children’s bilingual development at home and school, particularly for children with or at-risk for disabilities. Though primarily quantitative, I employ a wide range of methods including coding and analysis of adult-child interactions, advanced statistics, surveys, and qualitative interviews.