Language and Literacy Research Center (LLRC)


Barbara Taboada

Ana Taboada Barber is an Associate Professor in the Special Education program at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on the examination of classroom contexts and student processes that affect reading engagement and motivation to read, in native English speakers and in English Learners. Her interests are on psychology of literacy from a cognitive and motivational perspective. Most of Dr. Taboada Barber’s research includes English Learners and children with reading difficulties in the elementary and middle grades. She has worked on the development of the reading engagement model as it applies to learners in the late elementary grades, and has developed frameworks that specifically apply to English Learners who struggle with reading. She recently completed the development of United States History for Engaged Reading (USHER), a literacy curriculum for middle school students of diverse language backgrounds. She was a classroom teacher in bilingual schools in Buenos Aires before coming to the United States as a Fulbright scholar. Dr. Taboada Barber is the co-director of the Language and Literacy Research Center.

Jade Wexler

Jade Wexler is an Associate Professor in the Special Education Program at the University of Maryland. Dr. Wexler is interested in investigating practices to improve reading instruction across the content areas and in the supplemental intervention setting for adolescents with and at risk for reading disabilities and behavior disorders. She is also interested in designing professional development and literacy coaching mechanisms to improve fidelity of implementation. Dr. Wexler is currently the principal investigator (PI) of Project CALI (Content Area Literacy Instruction), an IES-funded research project aimed at developing a professional development program for middle school co-teachers that improves collaboration between general education (content area) and special education teachers and, ultimately, reading achievement and content knowledge of students with and at risk for disabilities.  She is also co-principal investigator (co-PI) of a model demonstration project funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), designed to infuse middle school content area classes and supplemental reading classes with evidence-based adolescent literacy practices. Dr. Wexler is the co-director of the Language and Literacy Research Center.