University of South Floroda College of Education
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Faculty Research Profiles: Lisa Lopez

Associate Professor, Educational Psychology

Phone: 813-974-1260

Psychological and Social Foundations
4202 E. Fowler Avenue EDU105
Tampa, FL 33620

Research Biography

My research agenda involves furthering our understanding of, and improving upon, the educational and environmental opportunities of Latino dual language learner children in the United States.  This agenda is met through three interrelated research strands. The first strand of my research agenda focuses on basic research that identifies the developmental trajectory of school readiness skills for Latino children beginning with their attendance in Head Start. My second research strand involves developing an ecological perspective for the population under study in which home and classroom factors are investigated, relating to the child level factors. My third and final research strand brings to practice the basic research I have been conducting for the past decade by developing assessment and curricula that meet the needs of young dual language learners.


  • Ph.D. (2001) Applied Developmental Psychology; University of Miami
  • M.S. (1999) Applied Developmental Psychology; University of Miami
  • B.A. (1997) Psychology; University of Miami 


  • Institute of Education Sciences: Education Research Grants (submitted 09/2011). “Examining the Efficacy of the Creative Curriculum System for Preschool in Improving School Readiness for Latino Dual Language Learners Using a Dual Language Approach” (PI: Lopez). Proposed Dates: July 2012-June 2015: $2,623,106.
  • National Institutes of Health U01 Award (subcontract from Temple University) “Tools of the Mind: Promoting ELLs’ Language, Self-Regulation & School Readiness” (1 U01 HD060296-01) (PI: Hammer). June 2009 – May 2014: $3,200,000 (Subcontract: $337,780).
  • Head Start University Partnership Grant: “Florida English Language Learners Attending Head Start (FELLA-HS): A Cultural and Academic Analysis.” (90YF0061)Head Start Bureau, Department of Health & Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. August 2007 – August 2010: $499,999.
  • University of South Florida College of Education Faculty Mini-Grant Program: “Understanding the Involvement, Schooling Practices, and Language Expectations of Latino Parents Living in the United States” June 2006 – May 2007: $4946.
  • National Institutes of Health R01 Award (subcontract from Penn State University) “Assessment of Phonological Abilities in Bilingual Children” (1 R01 HD051542-01) (PI: Miccio) October 2005 – September 2010: $2,955,657 (subcontract: $437,070)
  • National Science Foundation Researcher Starter Grant: ”Researcher Starter Grant: Establishing Research Opportunities with Latino Head Start Children in Tampa, FL.” (0527084) June 2005 – May 2006: $5000
  • National Science Foundation Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship "The Effect of Home Literacy Factors on English and Spanish Linguistic Proficiency and Pre-Literacy Skills for Spanish-Speaking Children" National Science Foundation.  September 2001 - August 2004:  $150,000
  • Head Start Research Scholars Fellowship "Assessing Phonological Sensitivity in Hispanic Head Start Children as a Precursor to Literacy." Head Start Bureau, Department of Health & Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families.  October 1999 - September 2001:   $30,000.

Selected Publications

  • DeMarie, D., & López, L.M. (in press). Memory in School. In R. Fivush & P. Bauer (Eds.), Wiley-Blackwell Handbook on the Development of Children’s Memory. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Hammer, C.S., Komaroff, E., Rodriguez, B.L., López, L.M., Scarpino, S., & Goldstein, B. (accepted). Predicting Spanish-English bilingual children’s language abilities. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.
  • López, L.M.(2012). Assessing the Phonological Skills of Bilingual Children from Preschool through Kindergarten: Developmental Progression and Cross Language Transfer. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 26(3).
  • López, L.M.(2011). Language and the Educational Setting.In B.A. Goldstein (ed.) Bilingual Language Development and Disorders in Spanish-English Speakers, 2nd Edition. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing Inc.
  • López, L.M. & Tápanes, V. (2011). Latino children attending a two-way immersion program in the United States: A comparative case analysis. Bilingual Research Journal, 34(2),142-160. doi:10.1080/15235882.2011.598087.
  • López, L.M.(Fall 2010). Assessing Dual Language Learners’ School Readiness. AcELLerate! The Quarterly Newsletter of the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, 3(1), 10-12.
  • Páez, M.M., Tabors, P.O., & López, L.M., (2007).  Dual Language and Literacy Development of Spanish-speaking Preschool Children. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 28(2), 85-102.
  • Tabors, P.O. & López, L.M.(2005).  How Can Teachers and Parents Help Young Children Become (and Stay) Bilingual? Head Start Bulletin, 78, 14-17.
  • López, L. M.& Greenfield, D. B. (2004). The identification of pre-literacy skills in Hispanic Head Start children.NHSA Dialog, 7(1), 61-83.
  • López, L. M.& Greenfield, D. B. (2004).  The cross-language transfer of phonological skills in Hispanic Head Start children. Bilingual Research Journal, 28(1), 1-18.
  • Tabors, P. O., Páez, M. M., & López, L. M. (Winter 2003). Dual Language Abilities of Spanish- English Bilingual Four-Year-Olds:  Initial Findings from the Early Childhood Study of Language and Literacy Development of Spanish-speaking Children. NABE Journal of Research and Practice, 1, 70-91.

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Assessment
  • Early Childhood
  • Curriculum
  • Equity & Diversity
  • Early Childhood
  • Bicultural/Multicultural Ed
  • Bilingual Education
  • At-Risk Populations
  • Family/School Partnerships
  • Prevention & Intervention Services for Young Children
  • Assessment & Testing
  • Cognition
  • Learning Processes