Elizabeth D. Peña

I’m a professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine (publications). I am a speech-language pathologist and study bilingualism in children.  When I started out as a clinician in the San Francisco bay area, I worked with a large bilingual caseload of mainly preschool age kids.  A big question at the time was how to reliably identify developmental language disorder in this group of kids. And that is what started me down this research path.

I am mainly interested in how people who have exposure to more than one language lexicalize, organize, and access words in each of their languages and how exposure to one language influences performance in the other language. Beyond word learning, I am interested in how children comprehend, organize, and tell stories in each of their languages. I’m also interested in measurement and assessment practices. Here, my focus is on developing ways to determine language differences vs. language disorders. With funding from the NIH, I was a part of a team to develop a test of speech and language for bilingual Spanish-English speaking children called the Bilingual English-Spanish Assessment (BESA).

to learn more about my research, check out our lab blog: http://hablalab.wordpress.com/

Google Scholar Profile

Habla Lab

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