Our Faculty

Christine Leighton

Assistant Professor of Education


Contact Information

617-264-7629


Office Hours

Office: Cardinal Cushing Library, Room G08E

Office hours: Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Education

Ed.D., Boston University; M.Ed., George Washington University; B.S.LA., Georgetown University


Bio

Dr. Leighton earned her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University with a Spanish major and an Arabic minor. While teaching at a language immersion, elementary public charter school in Washington, D.C. she earned her M.Ed. from George Washington with licensure to teach Spanish and ESL. She continued to pursue her interest in bilingualism and biliteracy at Boston University where she earned her Ed.D. in the field of literacy and language. Dr. Leighton joined Emmanuel College in the fall of 2010. She is committed to instructing undergraduate and graduate students in effective literacy practices as they prepare to teach an increasingly diverse student population.

Dr. Leighton is interested in better understanding the literacy learning experiences of children and adults who are acquiring English as another language through collaborative and individual research. In addition she is devoted to helping pre-service and in-service teachers to understand and effectively teach English language learners.


What I Love About Emmanuel: 

I love working with my students here at Emmanuel. It is inspiring to work with pre-service teachers, to share with them my experiences as a former classroom teacher, and to give them tools that will help them transform the lives of others through education.

Courses I Teach

  • EDUC1111: The Great American Experiment
  • EDUC3211: Literacy and Literacy Methods I
  • EDUC3212: Literacy and Literacy Methods II
  • EDUC4300: Sheltered English Instruction: Teaching ELLs
  • EDUC5202: Literacy and Literacy Methods I
  • EDUC5204: Literacy and Literacy Methods II
  • EDUC5207: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Practices I
  • EDUC5208: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Practices II
  • ENGL3307: Survey of Literature for Children and Young Adults

Publications + Presentations

Refereed Publications

  • Leighton, C.M., O'Brien, L.M, Giunco, K. (2017). Advancing English learners' disciplinary knowledge and academic language using complex expository text. New England Research Association Journal, 52(1), 7-18.
  • O'Brien, L.M. & Leighton, C.M. Use of Increasingly Complex Text to Advance ELLs' Knowledge and Academic Language (2015). Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice. 64(1), 169-192. doi: 10.1177/2381336915617579
  • O'Brien, L.M., Paratore, J. R., Leighton, C.M., Cassano, C., Krol-Sinclair, B., & Greif Green, J. (2014). Examining the differential effects of a family literacy program and the language and literacy growth of linguistically diverse children with varying English vocabularies, Journal of Literacy Research, 46(3), 383-415. doi: 10.1177/1086296X14552180.

Book Chapters

  • Ossa-Parra, M., Wagner, C., Proctor, C.P., Leighton, C.M., Robertson, D.A., Ford-Connors, E., & Paratore, J.R. (2016). Dialogic reasoning: Supporting emergent bilinguals' language and literacy development. In E. Hiebert, A. Boardman, & C.P. Proctor (Eds.), Teaching emergent bilingual students: Flexible approaches in an era of new standards (pp. 119-137). New York: Guilford Press. (invited)
  • Ford-Connors, E., Robertson, D. A., Leighton, C., Paratore, J. R., Proctor, C. P., & Carney, M. (2015). Comprehension Instruction within the Context of Common Core Standards. In S. R. Parris & K. Headley (Eds.). Comprehension Instruction: Research Based Best Practices, 3rd edition. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Social Media

Presentations

  • O'Brien, L.M. & Leighton, C.M. Optimal Text Selection to build Young Children's Concept and Vocabulary Knowledge, and Informational Text Comprehension. Presented at the annual preconference institute conference of the International Literacy Association, Boston July 8, 2016
  • ELICIT Team, Can we talk? Dialogic reasoning as a pathway to young children's development of language and world knowledge. Presented at the annual preconference institute conference of the International Literacy Association, Boston July 8, 2016
  • ELICIT Team, Dialogic reasoning: A discursive approach to literacy learning and knowledge development. Presented at the annual conference of the Massachusetts Reading Association, Boston, April 7, 2016
  • O'Brien, L.M., Leighton, C.M., Paratore, J.R., Ford-Connors, E. Exploring Relations between Classroom Talk and Young ELLs' Disciplinary Learning. Paper Presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Carlsbad, CA, December 2, 2015. 
  • ELICIT Team, How Does Professional Development Affect Teachers' Instruction? An exploratory analysis. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Carlsbad, CA, December 2, 2015.
  • O'Brien, L.M. & Leighton, C.M. Disciplinary Literacy: Talk, Text, and Tasks, that Motivate and Engage Young English Language Learners in Learning about Complex Science Concepts. Presented at the annual conference of the International Reading Association, St. Louis, MO, July 20, 2015. 
    O'Brien, L.M. & Leighton, C.M. Text, Talk, and Tasks that Facilitate ELLs' Engagement with Complex Text. Presented at the annual conference of the Massachusetts Reading Association, Boston, April 10, 2015.
  • O'Brien, L.M. & Leighton, C.M. Exploring use of increasingly complex text to enhance ELLs' knowledge and expository text comprehension. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Literacy Research Association, Marco Island, FL, December 5, 2014.
  • O'Brien, L.M. & Leighton, C.M. Facilitating young ELLs' access to complex text through a multi-faceted read-aloud intervention. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association, New Orleans, LA, May 11, 2014.
  • Robertson, D, Carney, M., Ford-Connors, E., Leighton, C., Ossa-Parra, M., Paratore, J.R, & Proctor, P., Extending meaning making: Creating discussion opportunities that elevate comprehending and composing. Presented at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association, New Orleans, LA, May 10, 2014.
  • Proctor, P., Paratore, J.R., Baughan, J., Carney, M., Ford-Connors, E., Leighton, C., Ossa-Parra, M., Robertson, D., & Wagner, C., Enhancing literacy instruction through collaboration and interactive technologies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Dallas, TX, December 6, 2013.
  • O'Brien, L.M. & Leighton, C. Raising the bar: Facilitating ELL's engagement with complex text. Presentation to be made at the annual conference of New England Reading Association, Portland, ME, September 20, 2013.
  • Paratore, J.R., O'Brien, L.M., Leighton, C., Cassano, C., Katz, R., Baughan, J., Krol-Sinclair, B.  Explaining the effects of a family literacy program on children's language and literacy performance. Paper presented at a symposium session at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, San Diego, CA, November 29, 2012
  • Baughan, J., Carney, M., Ford-Connors, E., Paratore, J.J., Ossa, M., Proctor, P., Vargas, C., Wagner, C., Leighton, C., Robertson, D. ELICIT: Enhancing literacy instruction through collaboration and interactive technology. Paper presented at a symposium session at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, San Diego, CA, November 30, 2012
  • O'Brien, L.M., Paratore, J. R., Cassano, C., Leighton, C., Krol-Sinclair, B. Greif Green, J.  Family Literacy and Differential Effects:  The Role of Vocabulary Knowledge.  Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 13-17, 2012
  • Leighton, C. Sixth-grade students' use of cross-linguistic transfer while writing persuasive letters in Spanish and English. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Association for Bilingual Education, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, February 17, 2012.
  • Leighton, C. When bilingualism works: Sixth-grade students' writing. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Jacksonville, FL, December 2, 2011.
  • Paratore, J.R., O'Brien, L., Cassano, C., Leighton, C., Krol-Sinclair, B., Green, J.G. Effects of participation in a family literacy program on vocabulary and early literacy development of children in prekindergarten to grade 1. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, April 10, 2011.
  • Leighton, C. The cognitive processes of sixth-grade students of varying Spanish and English proficiencies while writing persuasive essays. Roundtable presentation at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference, Fort Worth, TX, December 1, 2010.
  • Leighton, C. & Greenfield, R. (2010/2011). An interview with Heidi Hinish. Journal of Education, 190(1/2), 51-54.
  • Harten, M., Koziol, K., & Leighton, C. (2010/2011). Essay book reviews: Academic/professional texts. Journal of Education, 190(1/2), 59-64.
  • Paratore, J.R., Krol-Sinclair, B., Cassano, C., Leighton, C., O'Brien, L., Smock, J., Schick, A., Tobar, C. (2008). Effects of a family literacy intervention on the vocabulary and literacy growth of children in prekindergarten to grade two. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference, Orlando, FL, December 5, 2008.
  • Leighton, C. (October, 2005). Finding their voice: Encouraging students to speak in the target language. The NCLRC Language Resource Newsletter.

Grants + Recognition

  • 2010: Elsbeth Melville Scholarship, Boston University Women's Guild
  • 2010: Invited alumni-graduation speaker, EWS Community Freedom Public Charter School
  • 2001: Nominated as DC Charter Schools' Teacher of the Year

Research Focus

Dr. Leighton is currently involved in several research projects to help deepen understanding about language and literacy learning. The first study stems from Dr. Leighton's doctoral work and investigates the writing development of bilingual middle school students of varying Spanish and English proficiencies. Dr. Leighton is collaborating with colleagues at Boston University on a study that focuses on the literacy development of immigrant parents and their children as they participate in a family literacy program. She is also working with a colleague from Boston University on a study exploring how to facilitate young English language learners' understanding of complex texts. In addition, she is involved in a project called  "Enhancing literacy instruction through coaching and interactive technology" (ELICIT).  This project brings researchers from Boston University and Boston College together with Boston public school teachers to focus on literacy instructional needs and literacy outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse students.