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Department ofPsychology

Kirsten Read


Kirsten Read

Associate Professor

Educational Background

Ph.D., Stanford University


My research focuses on early language development, how most children become 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.

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.

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 to learn more. It is always helpful to know if interested students have taken relevant courses (including Research Methods and Developmental Psyc courses), and have experience working with young children.

  • PSYC 51/52/53: Statistics and Research Methods
  • PSYC 131: Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 137: Psycholinguistics
  • PSYC 184: Infancy
  • PSYC 185: Developmental Psychology

Read, K., Rabinowitz, S.*, & Harrison, H.* (2023). It’s the talk that counts: A review of how the extra-textual talk of caregivers during shared book reading with young children has been categorized and measured. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. (online first). 

Read, K., Harrison, H.*, Mireku, B.* & Ying, K.* (2023). The challenges of screen-mediated shared reading for young children’s learning and engagement. Frontiers in Psychology.

Read, K., Hauer-Richard, O.*, & Rogojina, A. (2022). Rhyme over time: Vocabulary learning through daily reading aloud at home with children. First Language.

Read, K., Contreras, P. D.*, Martinez, H.* (2021). Tres formas: Reading aloud with three types of Spanish and English dual-language learning preschoolers. Bilingual Research Journal.

Rabinowitz, S.*, Pavolov, C.*, Mireku, B.*, Ying, K.*, Zhang, J.* & Read, K. (2021). I feel less blue when I read with you: The effect of shared reading on adult readers’ affect. Frontiers in Psychology.

Read, K., Gaffney, G.*, Chen, A.*, & Imran, A.* (2021). The Impact of COVID-19 on Families’ Home Literacy Practices with Young ChildrenEarly Childhood Education Journal. (online first)

Read, K., Padula, L.*, Piacentini, J.*, & Vo, V.* (2021). Children’s lexical anticipation when listening to rhymesJournal of Cognition and Development. (online first)

Read, K., Contreras, P. D.*, Rodriguez, B.*, Jara, J.* (2020). ¿Read conmigo?: The effect of code-switching storybooks on dual-language learners’ retention of new vocabulary. Early Education and Development. (online first)

Kruse, E.*, Faller, I.*, & Read, K. (2020). Can reading personalized storybooks to children increase their prosocial behavior? Early Childhood Education Journal. (online first)

Soares, E.*, Miller, T.*, Ciffone, K.*, & Read, K. (2020). E-books for children with autism: Best read alone or with a therapist? Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 36(1), 19 32.

Read, K., Furay, E. & Zylstra, D. (2019). Using strategic pauses during shared reading with preschoolers: Time for prediction is better than time for reflection when learning new words. First Language.

Read, K., & Quirke, J. (2018). Rhyme and word placement in storybooks support high-level verb mapping in 3- to 5-year-old learners. Frontiers in Psychology.

Read, K., & Regan, M. (2018). The cat has a … : Children’s use of rhyme to guide sentence completionCognitive Development.

Read, K. (2018). Making sense of nonsense: Quantifying children’s verbal play for correlational researchSAGE Research Methods Cases.

Read, K., James, S. & Weaver A. (2017). Pie, Fry Why: Language play in children three to five years oldJournal of Early Childhood Research.

Ciffone, K., Weaver, A., and Read, K. (2016). The third voice: Do enhanced e-books enhance the benefits of shared story reading with preschoolers? Childhoods Today, 10(1).

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

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


In The News

November 3, 2020

Kirsten talks to the San Francisco Chronicle about what parents and teachers can do to help their kids deal with election stress.