Santa Clara University

Psychology department

Kirsten Read




Santa Clara University
Department of Psychology
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA  95053-0333
Phone: 408-551-3399

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 131: Cognitive 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 Or sign- up for our research participation pool by clicking here.    

Santa Clara students interested in joining my research team should know that 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 ( Psyc 43 and 185), and have experience working with young children. 


pix for Kirsten page

Representative Publications

Read, K. (2014). Clues cue the smooze: Rhyme, pausing and prediction help children learn new words from storybooks. Frontiers in Psychology, 5;129

Read, K., Macauley, M. & Furay, E. (2014). Teh Seuss boost: Rhyme helps children retain words from shared storybook reading. First Language. 

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.