Xi Becky Chen

Xi Becky Chen is Associate Professor at Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development of University of Toronto. She earned both her BA and MA from Hua Zhong University of Science and Technology. In 2001, she finished her MEd Statistics and Research Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has a PhD in Educational Psychology also from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Chen’s research focuses on bilingual and ELL (English Language Learner) children’s language and literacy development. She is interested in how children develop literacy skills (e.g. morphological awareness, phonological awareness, orthographic processing, visual perception and memory, vocabulary, word reading and reading comprehension) simultaneously in their first language and second language, and whether these skills transfer between the two languages.

Right now, she is running a three-year longitudinal study in a French immersion school. This project has three goals: 1) identify at-risk readers in French immersion and provide them with a phonological awareness intervention, 2) compare the development of English and French literacy skills between children who are native speakers of English and those who speak another language at home, and 3) examine transfer of literacy skills between English and French. She is also the principal investigator of an SSHRC standard research project that compares the development of literacy skills between Chinese-speaking ELLs and Spanish-speaking ELLs. The project aims at examining the effects of first language characteristics (Chinese vs. Spanish) on English learning. Finally, she conducts cross-cultural studies comparing the development of Chinese literacy skills between Chinese-speaking children in Canada and children in China. In applied practice, she is interested in helping children with reading disabilities.

You can view her CV here.

Credits: University of Toronto

Published: 29 November 2014

Last updated: 29 December 2016

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