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.

Manitoba Project

The project focuses on understanding the role of phonological awareness in word reading proficiency among early primary school children. Phonological awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate the sounds of a language, crucial for developing skills in mapping letters onto the sounds they represent, leading to quick and precise word recognition or word reading fluency. In collaboration between the Multilingualism & Literacy Lab at OISE, and the Louis Riel School District in Manitoba, the project team aims to address a series of research questions using the phonological awareness data.

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.