Multilingualism and Literacy Lab

A group of people smiling inside OISE.

Welcome to the Multilingualism & Literacy Lab

Our lab's research focuses on understanding how bilingual and English language learners develop literacy skills in their first and second language, and whether these skills transfer between the two languages.

Recent Projects

French Immersion Diagnostic Assessment

In 2023, the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Right to Read Inquiry Report emphasized that all children in all education programs have the fundamental right to learn to read. In collaboration with Ontario school boards encompassing all 5 regions of the province, a diagnostic assessment tool targeted at early years French immersion students was created as a response to such need for French-as-an-additional-language assessment tools. This tool assesses French immersion students’ skills in phonological awareness, phonics, and word reading.

The Classroom-based Literacy Screening for French Immersion Project

This multi-year collaboration between the Multilingualism & Literacy Lab (MLL) and the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) in Winnipeg, Manitoba has three major components. The first focuses on understanding the role of phonological awareness in early primary school children. The second is a classroom-based literacy screening project intended to identify at-risk readers. The third is a validation study for an early literacy screening battery developed by our lab. 

Reading Comprehension in French Immersion

For children in French Immersion, success in school is dependent on the ability to read for understanding in French and English. Our research program has three specific objectives: to develop models formalizing the contribution of language skills to English and French reading comprehension in majority and minority language children, to investigate the direction and degree of English and French cross-language transfer over time, and to examine the effect of language status (majority/minority L1) on English and French language and literacy learning.