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Dianna Townsend, Ed.D.

Associate Professor of Literacy Studies

Contact Information


  • Ed.D., University of California-Irvine
  • M.Ed., Boston University


Dianna R. Townsend earned her Ed.D. in a joint program with the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research centers on the academic language development of diverse adolescent students, with specific attention to academic vocabulary. She examines both the unique academic language demands of specific content areas and the best instructional strategies to help students build academic language proficiency in and across disciplines. Her studies include both interventions with adolescents and professional development with secondary teachers. Dr. Townsend’s work has been published in Reading Research Quarterly, The Elementary School Journal, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Topics in Language Disorders, as well as in other journals and multiple books. She also co-authored a book, published by Teachers College Press in 2009, on best practices for supporting English language learners with the demands of academic English.

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