Dr. Rebecca Silverman is an Associate Professor of Early Literacy in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. She specializes in language and literacy development and instruction, with a focus on children with learning differences, vocabulary and comprehension development, and children from low-income and English-learning backgrounds. She has conducted research on using read alouds, multimedia, cross-age peer learning, and small group dialogic instruction to support the vocabulary development and reading comprehension of diverse learners. Dr. Silverman has also been involved in teacher education and professional development for general and special education teachers.
She is a member of the Center for Supporting Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University, and leads the Language to Literacy Research Lab (https://langlitlab.stanford.edu/). Currently,she is engaged in a robust Research-Practice partnership focused on literacy with the San Francisco Unified School District.
Dr. Silverman began her career as an elementary school teacher in a public school in New Orleans, Louisiana. She left her teaching job to pursue a doctoral degree in language and literacy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).
At the University of Maryland, she taught classes and conducts research on the language and literacy of children in the early childhood and elementary school years. Her research focuses on the vocabulary and comprehension of children from diverse backgrounds and with various strengths and needs. Dr. Silverman is the principal investigator of a federally-funded research project on investigating the vocabulary and comprehension development of monolingual- and Spanish-speaking bilingual children in grades 2 through 5, and another federally-funded research project on developing a cross-age peer tutoring program for vocabulary and comprehension with English learners and their non-English learning peers.
Dr. Silverman believes that to make a difference in the education of children, researchers need to work together, in partnership with schools, to identify the most promising ways to support children in language and literacy. She founded the Maryland Language and Literacy Research Center (LLRC), which brings together faculty and students to focus on language and literacy issues in education from different perspectives.