Dr. Spencer Receives NAU Funding for 2013-2014 Research

Institute for Human Development, Arizona University Center on Disabilities
Northern Arizona University

DDNN Summer 2013

Dr. Trina SpencerDr. Trina Spencer, the IHD-AzUCD Research Director, was recently awarded $65,000 to conduct a study with culturally and linguistically diverse kindergarten students who struggle learning to read. The purpose of this study will be to examine the feasibility, reliability, and validity of an innovative assessment approach that promises to predict, at the beginning of kindergarten, which students will experience academic difficulty. As a secondary purpose of this study, Dr. Spencer’s team will provide intensive, targeted decoding and language interventions, depending on the needs of the students. The objective is to prevent poor language skills including limited English language proficiency from impacting students’ reading achievement. The long-term goal is to reduce the incidence of reading disabilities among young culturally and linguistically diverse students. Through the Child Development and Language Lab at the IHD and projects like this one, Dr. Spencer mentors many undergraduate and graduate students.