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Research at the SAiL Lab


Current Studies

Current studies focus on the relation between language development and literacy skills.

Letters and Sounds

The process of reading involves mapping letters onto sounds. In a study involving 2nd graders, we are learning how sound and letter knowledge influences language and literacy acquisition. The practical outcome of this study will be better early assessment and treatment of word reading problems. This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Word Learning

POWWER logo

Each word in your mental dictionary is stored with meaning (e.g., color, shape, function) and form (e.g., sounds, letters). The depth and breadth of a child's mental dictionary influences the ability to understand what is read. One of our current studies, POWWER (Profiles of Working Memory and Word Learning for Educational Research), is a multi-site collaboration funded by the National Institutes of Health seeking to determine how memory influences the ability to learn and remember new words. The practical outcome of this study will be the creation of a test to identify which children will have trouble learning new words and how best to teach new words. If you are interested in learning more about participating in this research study, please email Katy Cabbage.

Treatment of Reading Comprehension Problems

LARRC logo

The Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC) is a multi-university consortium of researchers at six universities: The Ohio State University (OSU), MGH Institute of Health Professions, University of Kansas (KU), Arizona State University (ASU), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and Lancaster University (LU in the UK). This consortium is funded by the Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and is conducting a 5-year national study focused on comprehension development and understanding for children from preschool through third grade. The goals of the LARRC project are:

  1. To understand the role of language skills in reading comprehension
  2. To understand risk factors that make reading comprehension particularly difficult for some children
  3. To develop effective ways to improve reading comprehension

This consortium is addressing these questions using a nationally representative sample of 1,200 children followed longitudinally over 5 years, coupled with teaching trials and efficacy studies implemented in approximately 300 preschool to grade-three classrooms. In addition, an English Language Learner (ELL) study is being conducted at the ASU site to focus intensively on reading comprehension among ELLs. For more information about this project and updates on the work being done, please go to the LARRC Reading for Understanding Study website.

If you are interested in learning more about participating in this research study, please contact Katy Cabbage.

Watch video on research at the SAiL Lab.