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Professor, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

I taught school for 29 years, mostly in English as a Second Language (ESL), before coming to the University of Calgary. I am in my 19th year here (PhD, 1996) My research interests include vocabulary development in ESL learners of all ages, though recently my focus has shifted to working with the Canadian born children of immigrants who come to school with little developed English language proficiency. I am increasingly looking at language and literacy learning for all young kids, noting a decline in our early literacy outcomes in Alberta that can be attributed to poor fine motor control needed to print/'push a pencil'. I am looking for upstream interventions, particularly through more exploratory, physical, guided play that engages children more intentionally with 'real materials in the real world in real time' to develop 'nimble fingers, physical literacy, embodied cognition'. I would like to use Conversation as a way of disseminating research underway, and for connecting to a broader public of teachers, parents, program providers, policy makers. I enjoy teaching in our teacher preparation (undergrad) program, as well as at the graduate level. I supervise graduate students at both Master's and PhD level.


  • –present
    Professor, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary


  • 1996 
    University of Calgary, Education