Language and Literacy Lab

Lisa Bowers, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Biography: Lisa Bowers is an Associate Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her research interests include language and literacy development of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including children who are deaf and hard of hearing. She is a member of several interdisciplinary research teams that include scholars from Deaf Education, Counselor Education, Literacy Education, and Childhood Education (K-6th grade) that focus on best practices in Interprofessional Education (IPE) and Practice (IPP) in the school setting.

Lab Research Summary: Research conducted in the language and literacy lab focuses on the auditory, language, and literacy abilities of children from culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

Language and literacy abilities of students who are deaf: Children who are deaf often present unique spelling configurations that differ from their hearing peers. We are currently analyzing the writing samples from students from diverse educational settings (i.e., public school self-contained, public school mainstream, schools for the deaf) as well as varying communication philosophies (i.e., American Sign Language (ASL)-English bilingual, Listening and Spoken Language, Total Communication).

Language and vocabulary development of children from special populations: Graduate students in the CDIS program at the University of Arkansas participate in a service learning project with Washington County Head Start Centers. We have partnered with Head Start to assess the language growth of children using standardized assessments, parent questionnaires, and reading logs.

Research Implications: Broadly, research outcomes from the lab are designed to better understand what auditory, language, and writing skills are necessary and what interventions are appropriate for children to successfully communicate with others, particularly in the academic setting.

Student Impact: Both undergraduate and graduate students are involved in all aspects of the research process, including literature review, data collection, analysis, and interpretation of results. Students regularly present at national conventions.

2019 Lab Members: Madi Littlefield, Sophie Hartnedy, Caitlin Bumpass, Jaycie Strunk, Rylee Atkins

Selected Publications

  • Young, H. D. & Bowers, L. (2018). Coordination of literacy efforts between literacy education specialists & speech-language pathologists: Are we on the same team? Literacy Research and Instruction, 57(4), 285-305.
  • Bowers, L., Dostal, H., Wolbers, K., & Graham, S. (2018). The assessment of written phrasal constructs and grammar of deaf and hard of hearing students with varying expressive language abilities. Education Research International, 2018, 1-10.
  • Perryman, K. & Bowers, L. (2018). Turning the focus to behavioral, emotional, and social well-being: The impact of child centered play therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 27(4), 227-241.