SCSD Alumna Dr. Keisey Fumero Publishes Dissertation

Dr. Keisey Fumero, an alumna of the School of Communication Science and Disorders (SCSD), published her dissertation, titled “Supportive Language Strategies for Preschool Dual Language Learners: Associations with Early Language Outcomes” in the Early Childhood Research Quarterly journal on December 23, 2023, with Drs. Carla Wood and Beth Phillips as co-authors.

“My dissertation focused on examining what is currently going on in preschools when it concerns supporting language development for dual language learners (DLLs),” said Fumero. The study included 21 preschool classrooms and 69 children from a Latine background who spoke Spanish at home.

As a DLL herself, her research has focused on language and literacy development for under-resourced populations. In her dissertation, she discusses a wide array of evidence-based language facilitation strategies and found that preschool teachers mostly rely on open-ended questions. Teachers adjusted their classrooms’ language environment around the frequency of using children’s heritage language, depending on the proportion of DLLs in their classrooms.

As a student, she was involved with the Florida Center for Reading Research, “I learned so much about networking, grant writing, research dissemination, and research practice partnership building that it really highlighted what I wanted to get out of a future job.” As an SCSD doctoral student, “you learn it all. Project management skills, how to train research assistants, how to code reliably, how to use different software to help make data analysis easier, all of it.”

Fumero thanked her committee members Drs. Sana Tibi, Sonia Cabell, Chris Schatschneider, Nicole Patton-Terry, and Lakeisha Johnson. She also expressed gratitude to Carla Wood and Beth Phillips, principal investigators of the Spencer Foundation-funded project, which served as her primary data source. Her advice to current students: “Advocate for yourself, believe in yourself, and seek multiple avenues of mentorship!”

Fumero is eager to play a part in the ever-changing field of education research. To read more, visit her dissertation.