College of Education *
College of Education *
Ana Taboada Barber (CHSE)
Ana Taboada Barber
Contact Information:
Room: 1311-E Benjamin Building
Phone: (301) 405-6482

Ana Taboada Barber (Ph.D., University of Maryland)
Associate Professor; Special Education Program
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE)


Research Interests | Bio | Grants & Projects | Publications |

Research Interests

Motivation and Literacy; Reading Comprehension and Differentiated Instruction; Cognitive and Motivational Reading Development of Children from Diverse Language Backgrounds or English Language Learners; Reading Comprehension of Children with Literacy Related Learning Difficulties


Professional Biography

I developed my interest in motivation and literacy a long time ago when I was an elementary and middle-school teacher in bilingual schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As an English as a Second Language teacher my curiosity was piqued by the reading challenges encountered by students in my classrooms. Through my teaching I learned that many students with reading challenges shared these across their first and second languages. Interestingly, I also discovered that many of these challenges were not only cognitive but were also rooted in the children’s motivation to read and learn. Pursuing Master’s and Doctoral studies in the United States, I specialized in the developmental and instructional processes of reading, helping evolve the reading engagement model which combines cognitive and motivation dimensions. Initially we explored reading engagement as it applied to all learners in the late elementary grades. Later on, I conducted research investigating reading engagement in English language. This work led me to examine classroom contexts, teacher and instructional variables that support reading engagement for monolingual and second language learners.

Today, my main focus still is on the psychology of literacy from a cognitive and motivational perspective. My work centers on studying the influence of specific motivational variables, such as autonomy support, and cognitive variables, such as student text-based questioning, on the literacy and language development upper elementary and middle school students. At UMD, I am affiliated with the Language Science Center -which aims to advance the science and study of language as a University-wide endeavor. I am also the Co-Director of the Maryland Language and Literacy Research Center, an exciting initiative led by Dr. Rebecca Silverman, that brings together experts and students interested in literacy and language throughout the College of Education. Together, these initiatives make UMD and the CoE intellectually dynamic environments for doctoral candidates to develop their research interests in literacy and language.

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Grants & Projects

Taboada, A. (Principal Investigator), Buehl, M. M. (Co-PI), Kidd, J. (Co-PI), & Sturtevant, E. (Co-PI). Fostering reading engagement in English-monolingual students and English language learners through a history curriculum. 2010-2014, Reading and Writing Education Research grants competition, Institute of Education Sciences (IES). ($1,566,603).

Taboada, A. Middle school reading engagement in social studies. Seed Grant: Research Funding for Faculty, Office of the Vice President for Research &Economic Development, George Mason University, 2009-2011 ($5,000).

Taboada, A., Developing reading comprehension and academic vocabulary for English language learners through science content. Provost research awards for tenure-track faculty, George Mason University, 2007-2009 ($4,650).

Guthrie, J.T., & Taboada, A. Student motivation: The role of motivational activities and practices in Reading is Fundamental (RIF) programs. 2005-2007, Reading is Fundamental, Inc. ($112,000).

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Selected Publications

Taboada Barber, A., Buehl, M.M., Kidd, J., Sturtevant, E., Richey, L.N., & Beck, J. (2015). Reading engagement in Social Studies: Exploring the role of a social studies literacy intervention on reading comprehension, reading self-efficacy, and engagement in middle school students with different language backgrounds. Reading Psychology, 36(1), 31-85. DOI: 10.1080/02702711.2013.815140.

Berkeley, S., & Taboada Barber, A. (2014). Maximizing effectiveness of reading comprehension instruction in diverse classrooms. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing.

Taboada Barber, A., & Buehl, M.M. (2013). Relations among grade 4 students' perceptions of autonomy, engagement in science, and reading motivation. The Journal of Experimental Education, 81(1), 22-43. DOI: 10.1080/00220973.2011.630045

Taboada, A., Townsend, D. & Boynton, M.J. (2013). Mediating effects of reading engagement on the reading comprehension of early adolescent English language learners. Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 29(4), 309-332. DOI: 10.1080/10573569.2013.741959

Taboada, A., Bianco, S.,& Bowerman, V. (2012). Text-based questioning: A comprehension strategy to build English language learners' content knowledge. Literacy Research & Instruction, 51(2), 87-109.

Taboada, A., & Buehl, M. (2012). Teachers' conceptions of reading comprehension and motivation to read. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 18(1), 101-122.

Taboada, A. (2012).Relationships of general vocabulary, academic vocabulary, and student questioning with reading comprehension in students with varying levels of English proficiency. Instructional Science, 40(6), 901-923. DOI: 10.1007/s11251-011-9196-z

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