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Dianna Townsend

Dr. Townsend’s research centers on the academic language development of adolescent students, with specific attention to academic vocabulary, comprehension, and disciplinary literacy. She examines both the unique academic language demands of the disciplines and effective instructional strategies to help students understand and use academic language in and across academic disciplines. Her current project, funded by the Spencer Foundation, is an intervention study comparing how different types of background knowledge and academic vocabulary scaffolding impact the reading comprehension of multilingual adolescents. Dr. Townsend’s work has been published in Reading Research Quarterly, The Elementary School Journal, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Topics in Language Disorders, as well as in other journals and multiple books.