Tanya Christ, Ph.D.
My areas of research focus on issues of educational access and equity, early childhood literacy, and teacher education. Recently, I have been involved with these topics through several research projects, such as developing early childhood curriculum that delivers literacy, science, and technology instruction; examining emergent readers’ development of digital literacy skills and strategies; exploring the effects of culturally relevant vs. non-culturally relevant texts on the word recognition, fluency, and comprehension of grade 1-grade 6 readers; examining how factors in teacher education instruction, such as video case studies, collaborative peer video analysis, written reflections, session planning, and course readings are related to learning outcomes and applied to subsequent instruction of K-12 readers.
- Emergent literacy development, including vocabulary, comprehension, and navigating and processing digital texts
- Teacher preparation, particularly the use of video and technology to enhance teachers’ learning
- Cultural and literacy
Past research activities/experience:
- Christ, T., & Wang, X. C. (in press). Exploring a community of practice model for professional development to address challenges to classroom practices in early childhood. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.
- Christ, T., Chiu, M. M., Currie, A., & Cipielewski, J. (in press). The relation between test formats and kindergarteners’ expressions of vocabulary knowledge. Reading Psychology.
- Christ, T., Chiu, M. M., & Wang, X. C. (in press). Preschoolers’ engagement with reading behaviours: A statistical discourse analysis. Journal of Research in Reading.
- Christ, T., & Cramer, R. (in press). Designing assessment-based reading instruction. Michigan Reading Journal.
- Christ, T., & Wang, X. C. (2012). Young children’s opportunities to use and learn theme-related vocabulary through buddy “reading.” Literacy Research and Instruction, 51(4), 273-291.
- Christ, T., Arya, P., & Chiu, M. M. (2012). Collaborative peer video analysis: Insights about literacy assessment & instruction. Journal of Literacy Research, 44, 171-199.
- Christ, T., & Wang, X. C. (2012). Supporting preschoolers’ vocabulary learning: Using a decision-making model to select appropriate words and methods. Young Children, 67(2) 74-80.
- Christ, T., & Wang, X. C. (2011). Closing the vocabulary gap?: A review of research on early childhood vocabulary practices. Reading Psychology, 32, 426-458.
- Christ, T. (2011) More than “right” or “wrong”: A look at children’s vocabulary knowledge across the semantic continuum. Journal of Literacy Research, 43(2), 130-158.
- Christ, T., & Cramer, R. (2011). Assessing word recognition and fluency. Michigan Reading Journal, 43(1), 7-23.
- Christ, T., Wang, X. C., & Chiu, M. M. (2011). Using story dictation to support young children’s vocabulary development: Outcomes and process. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(1), 30-41.
- Christ, T., & Cramer, R. (2010). Assessing reading knowledge with an informal reading inventory and connecting the results with informal instructional assessment. Michigan Reading Journal, 42(2), 34-42.
- Christ, T., & Wang, X. C. (2010). Bridging the gap: What research tells us about vocabulary instruction in early childhood. Young Children, 65(4), 84-91.
- Cramer, R., & Christ, T. (2010). Assessing comprehension through informal reading inventories: Its difficulties and complexities. Michigan Reading Journal, 42 (3), 29-39.
- Christ, T., & Wang, X. C. (2008). Negotiation of “how to” at the cross-section of cultural capital and habitus: Young children's procedural practices in a student-led literacy group. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 8(2), 177-211.
- Cramer, R., & Christ, T. (2008). Old hand, new hand. Michigan Reading Journal, 40 (3), 32-34.
- Li, G., & Christ. T. (2007). Social capital and home literacy engagement: Case studies of low-SES single mothers’ access to literacy resources. English in Education 41(1), 21-36.
- Christ, T. (2007). Oral language exposure and incidental vocabulary acquisition: An exploration across kindergarten classrooms. Unpublished dissertation. Buffalo, NY: University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.
Current research activities:
- Arya, P., & Christ, T. An exploration of how professors’ facilitation is related to literacy teachers’ meaning-construction process during video-case discussions. Manuscript submitted for publication.
- Arya, P., Christ, T., & Chiu, M. Collaborative peer video analysis: Exploring links between teachers’ conversations, ideas, and future actions considered. Manuscript submitted for publication.
- Wang, X. C., Christ, T., & Chiu, M. Exploring a comprehensive model for early childhood vocabulary instruction: A design experiment. Manuscript submitted for publication.
- Christ, T., Wang, X. C., Chiu, M. M. Socially constructed reading comprehension: Statistical discourse analysis of young children’s buddy reading. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Research goals/plans for future projects
- Christ, T., Arya, P., & Chiu, M. M. Literacy teachers’ learning through collaborative peer video analysis and their applications of this learning to their pedagogy. Manuscript submitted for publication.
- Christ, T., & Wang, X. C. Concept mapping in preschool? Exploring opportunities for engagement with vocabulary knowledge and differentiated instruction. Manuscript in preparation.
- Christ, T., Wang, X. C., & Chiu, M. M. Young children’s word-meaning derivation based on storybook illustrations and text read alouds. Manuscript in preparation.
- Christ, T., Kibby, M., & Chiu, M. Hearing words, learning words: The impact of various kinds of advanced word exposure on children’s incidental vocabulary acquisition. Manuscript in preparation.
Workshops, In-Service Institutes, and Community Events:
- Addressing the Common Core Standards on Vocabulary in Early Childhood (pre-K-2)
- Implementing a Comprehensive Approach to Vocabulary Instruction in Early Childhood Classrooms (pre-K-2; this includes a series of two 3-hour workshops)
- Using Buddy Reading to Provide Opportunities for Young Children to Engage in Emergent Literacy Behaviors (pre-K and K)
- Using Story Dictation to Support Young Children’s Use of Newly Learned Vocabulary (pre-K-2)
- Using Early Childhood Literacy Centers to Support Vocabulary Acquisition (pre-K-2)
- Helping Young Children to Construct Vocabulary Meanings from Books Read Aloud (pre-K-2)
Vita available upon request