2022 Neuhaus Speaker Series: Dr. Julie Washington
Uplifting Language Variation in the Classroom: Teaching African American Children to Read
Dr. Julie A. Washington, Ph.D.
Professor in the School of Education, University of California – Irvine (UCI)
Teaching reading to children who speak language varieties that differ in important ways from the structure of print adds an additional layer of complexity to learning to read and to reading instruction. These differences have been found to impact many language-based academic areas including reading, writing, spelling and mathematics. For African American children in particular, research has demonstrated that the language of the home and community must be considered when teaching literacy skills. We know what to teach. This presentation addresses how we teach reading while also honoring the language of the homes and communities in which our African American children live.
About the Speaker
Dr. Julie Washington is a Professor in the School of Education at the University of California–Irvine (UCI). She is a Speech-Language Pathologist and is a Fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Dr. Washington directs the California Learning Disabilities Research Innovation Hub at UCI. She is also director of the Dialect, Poverty and Academic Success lab. Her research is focused on the intersection of literacy, language variation, and poverty in African American children from preschool through fifth grades. In particular, her work focuses on understanding the role of cultural dialect in assessment outcomes, identification of reading disabilities in school-aged African American children, and on disentangling the relationship between language production and comprehension in development of early reading and language skills for children growing up in poverty. Currently, she is working on development of assessment protocols for use with high density dialect speakers that are designed to improve our ability to measure their linguistic competence. This work is funded by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health.