Santa Clara University

Psychology department

Kirsten Read




Santa Clara University
Department of Psychology
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA  95053-0333
Phone: 408-554-4810

Educational Background

Ph.D., Stanford University


PSYC 1: General Psychology 1

PSYC 2: General Psychology 2
PSYC 40: Statistical Data Analysis
PSYC 43: Research Methods in Psychology

PSYC 137: Psycholinguistics
PSYC 185: Developmental Psychology



My research focuses on early language development, how most children becomes so fast and fluent in understanding and using language in just the first few years of life - no small task! My most recent studies involve looking at how common kinds of language experiences, specifically  story book reading and language play, can help children use their own predictions to learn new words. 


Here is a link to a newly published study on the impact of rhymed stories on children's word learning:

Our research group is always looking for volunteers, so parents of children between the ages of 2 and 5 who would like to find out more about our current studies and how to participate should email me at

Research with small children takes patience and commitment as well as creativity. Interested students can contact me via email at to learn more. It is always helpful to know if interested students  have taken relevant courses ( including Psych 43 and 185), and have experience working with young children.


pix for Kirsten page



Representative Publications


Read, K. ( in prep). Kids use predictive rhyming features to learn the names of novel creatures: Rhyme and language play in vocabulary acquisition.


Fernald, A., Thorpe, K. & Marchman, V. (2010). Blue car, Red car: Developing effciency in online interpertation of adjective- noun phrases. Cognitive Psychology, 60 (3). 190- 217.

Thorpe, K. & Fernald, A. (2006). Knowing what a novel word is not: Two-year olds "listen through" ambiguous adjectives in fluent speech. Cognition. 100, 389-433.