Meet Our Lab

Principal Investigator

C. Melanie Schuele (PhD, Child Language Doctoral Program, University of Kansas), the director of the Child and Language Literacy Lab, is an associate professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University. She is a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Her research focuses on the development of complex syntax and phonological awareness in children with specific language impairment and typical language learners. Dr. Schuele’s research has been funded by the National Institute of Health-National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, and the Schubert Child Development Center at Case Western Reserve University. The US Department of Education has funded her projects to prepare (a) masters degreed speech-language pathologists to provide speech/language services in schools and address the interface of language, literacy, an academic achievement, and (b) PhD students to prepare for academic careers in language and literacy.

She is currently a co-investigator on reading and math intervention projects in children with learning disabilities with Dr. Lyn Fuchs and Dr. Doug Fuchs as the projects’ principal investigators (Peabody College at Vanderbilt, Department of Special Education). Dr. Schuele has been published in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Education and Early Development, Journal of Deaf Education, and Applied Psycholinguistics. She collaborated from 2001-07 with the West Virginia Department of Education on their WV Phonological Awareness Project, a statewide project to promote phonological awareness instruction in kindergarten and first grade. Dr. Schuele has served the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in several capacities:  Editor (2013) and Associate Editor (2007-09) of Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Publications Board (2013) Research and Scientific Affairs Committee (2004-10; Chair 2008-10), and Lessons for Success Steering Committee (2008-12). 

PHD STUDENTS

Karen

Karen Barako Arndt, (Dissertation, in progress: The production of complement taking verbs across complement clause types in elicited language tasks) M.Ed., M.S., CCC-SLP is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University. She received a B.A. in English Literature and Secondary English Education (2002) from Florida State University, a M.Ed. in Language and Literacy/English Education (2003) from the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and a M.S. in Speech-language Pathology (2006) from Vanderbilt University. Karen was a recipient of the ASHA Students Preparing for Research and Academic Careers (SPARC) Award in 2004-2005. As part of her SPARC award, she completed a research project entitled: The Production of Infinitives by Children with Specific Language Impairment, which continued as her first pre-dissertation research project. Karen’s second pre-dissertation research project examined complex syntax production longitudinally in the language samples of children with SLI. Her dissertation focuses on the production of complement taking verbs across complement clause types in elicited language tasks with typically developing preschool children. Her research interests include complex syntax development in children with SLI as well as language and literacy issues in children with SLI, specifically writing. She has worked as a research assistant in the Child Language and Literacy Lab since 2006, helping to coordinate an NIH R03 funded project (PI: C. Melanie Schuele, PhD) and currently works as a tutor at the Vanderbilt Reading Clinic.  Karen is a 2013-2014 recipient of the ASHFoundation Student Research Grant in Early Child Language Development, which she will use to support her dissertation research.
 
 

Magdalene S. Jacobs earned her master of arts in the linguistics from the University of Georgia.  Her research interests include child language acquisition, particularly the acquisition of syntax and phonology. She is also interested in bilingual child language acquisition and the role of perception in language processing.  Other interests include early childhood literacy support and child language disorders.

Please click here for more information about Magdalene Jacobs and her presentations, publications, and awards.

 

SylviaShih-Yuan Liang, received a B.A. in Psychology (2009) from National Taiwan University, and a M.S. in Clinical Linguistics from a European scholarship program co-organized by University of Groningen, University of Eastern Finland, and University of Potsdam (2011). She is currently a first-year PhD student in the Child language and Literacy Lab. Her major research interests include exploring the interweaving of cognitive abilities, oral language skills, and literacy development in young children, and incorporating both behavioral and neuroscientific methods to enhance a better understanding of the nature of learning, language acquisition, and the neural correlates. She is particularly interested in linking oral language to literacy development with a bidirectional approach: not only examining the way how early oral language skills corroborate later reading and writing, but also exploring the potential implications of how early literacy activities nourish the development of language and cognition.

Please click here for more information about Shih-Yuan Liang and her presentations, publications, and awards.

Brian Weiler, M.S., CCC-SLP is a PhD student in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University. He received a B.A. (2000) from Davidson College and a M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology (2007) from Vanderbilt University Medical School. After finishing his master's degree, he worked at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center providing speech-language services to children, specializing in the school-aged and fluency populations. His research interests include linguistic influences on the morphological skills of children with and without language impairment.  He has completed two PhD research projects addressing past tense morphology: "Lexical Aspect and Past Tense Marking in Children with Typical Language: Is There a Durative Difference?" and “Marking Past Tense: Complex Syntax Effects in Children with SLI.” Brian was a 2012 recipient of the ASHFoundation Graduate Student Scholarship. He is a trainee on a Leadership Training Grant from the US Department of Education, Preparing Teachers/Scholars in Language and Literacy, (PI: Schuele).  

Please click here for more information about Brian Weiler and his presentations, publications, and awards.

 

Tiffany Woynaroski, M.S., SLP is a PhD student in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University. She received a B.S. in Psychology (2002) with a minor in East Asian Studies and Mandarin Chinese Language from Valparaiso University College of Arts and Sciences and a M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology (2009) from Vanderbilt University Medical School. She has worked clinically in many capacities, including behavioral consultation, speech-language services, and parent support.  She has been recognized as a Lumina Scholar, a Nelson Scholar, and Outstanding Chinese Language Scholar. Her research interests include language, literacy, and social communication development and neuroscience, with a particular focus in young children with autism spectrum disorders.  She is especially interested in using neuroscientific methods to clarify the nature of developmental disorders and to predict long-term outcomes. Tiffany was previously a trainee on a personnel preparation grant from the US Department of Education, Clinical Specialty Preparation to Serve Infants, Toddlers, and Children With Feeding and Swallowing Disabilities (2007-2009).  She is currently a trainee on a Leadership Training Grant from the US Department of Education, Preparing Teachers/Scholars in Language and Literacy, (PI: Schuele).

Please click here for more information about Tiffany Woynaroski and her presentations, publications, and awards.