Office: Cardinal Cushing Library, Room G08E
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 working with students and teachers in multilingual and multicultural classrooms to ensure meaningful and equitable learning opportunities that foster language and literacy development. She collaborates with practicing teachers to explore areas they identify as critical to their development as literacy instructors and to their students' academic growth. Their work is iterative as they explore instructional approaches (e.g. teaching with complex and culturally relevant texts, engaging students in critical reasoning discussions) to promote academic engagement, rich classroom discourse, and authentic literacy and language experiences.
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.
Dr. Leighton is involved in several research projects to help deepen understanding about language and literacy learning. The first study is a collaboration with an in-service teacher that uses the teacher's experience, questions, and concerns to guide literacy interventions while keeping track of students' literacy learning outcomes. She is also working with a colleague at Merrimack College to explore the relations between between text, talk, and young English learners' disciplinary learning. She was part of a project called "Enhancing literacy instruction through coaching and interactive technology" (ELICIT). This work brought researchers from Boston University and Boston College together with Boston public school teachers to focus on literacy instructional needs and literacy outcomes for multilingual students. Her collaboration with a second-grade teacher during this project serves as the basis for articles and presentations around engaging English learners with complex texts, topics, and tasks.