Assistant Professor of Education
Office: Cardinal Cushing Library, Room G08E
Office hours: Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Ed.D., Boston University; M.Ed., George Washington University; B.S.LA., Georgetown University
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
- 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 20-21, 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
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.