Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Partnerships for International
Research and Education

Amy Crosson

Amy Crosson
Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Amy Crosson


Broadly, my research investigates instructional innovations to optimize language and literacy learning for multilingual students in public school settings. My current project, funded by the Spencer Foundation, explores how and why teachers across the US have adapted early literacy instruction for multilingual children. For this project, I am collecting rich, “in-the-moment” snapshots of remote instruction using a smartphone-based research platform. My research also focuses on development of classroom-based interventions to support academic vocabulary learning, reading comprehension, and argumentation skills of multilingual learners, with funding from the Institute for Education Sciences. Methodologically, I integrate quantitative and qualitative techniques to understand mechanisms that influence language learning and effects of instruction. I welcome both prospective graduate students and educators who are interested in collaboration to contact me about their interests!

Research Interests:

  • Classroom-based interventions to support development of academic language, reading comprehension, and argumentation skills of multilingual learners in public school settings
  • Assessment of word knowledge, text comprehension, and classroom discourse  

Recent Publications:

Crosson, A.C., Hughes, E.M., Blanchette, F. & Thomas, C. (2020). What’s the point? Emergent bilinguals’ understanding of multiple-meaning words that carry everyday and discipline-specific mathematical meanings. Reading and Writing Quarterly36, 84-103. 10.1080/10573569.2020.1715312

Crosson, A.C., Lei, P., Cheng, W.*[1] & McKeown, M.G. (2019). The curious role of morphological family size in problem solving of unfamiliar words. Scientific Studies of Reading. doi: 10.1080/10888438.2019.1701475.

Crosson, A.C., Mckeown, M.G., Robbins, K. & Brown, K. (2019). Key elements of robust vocabulary instruction for emergent bilingual adolescents.  Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 50. 10.1044/2019_LSHSS-VOIA-18-0127

Crosson, A.C., McKeown, M.G., & Ward, A.K. Jr. (2019). An innovative approach to assessing depth of knowledge of academic words. Language Assessment Quarterly, 16, 196-216. 10.1080/15434303.2019.1612899

Crosson, A.C., McKeown, M.G., Moore, D.W. & Ye, F. (2019). Extending the bounds of morphology instruction:  Word analysis using Latin roots facilitates academic word learning for English Learner adolescents. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 32, 689–727. 10.1007/s11145-018-9885-y

McKeown, M.G., Crosson, A.C., Moore, D.W. & Beck, I.B. (2018). Word knowledge and comprehension effects of an academic vocabulary intervention for middle school students. American Educational Research Journal, 55, 572-616. 10.3102/0002831217744181

Crosson, A.C. & Moore, D.W. (2017). When to take up roots: The effects of morphology instruction for middle school and high school English Learners at three grade bands. Reading Psychology, 38, 262-288. 10.1080/07370008.2016.1145121

Crosson, A.C. & McKeown, M.G. (2016). Middle school learners’ use of Latin roots to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words. Cognition and Instruction, 34, 148-171. 10.1080/07370008.2016.1145121

Lawrence, J. F., Crosson, A.C., Paré-Blagoev, E. J., & Snow, C. (2015). Word Generation randomized trial: Discussion mediates the impact of program treatment on academic word learning. American Educational Research Journal, 52, 750-786. 10.3102/0002831215579485

Crosson, A.C. & Lesaux, N.K. (2013). Connectives: Fitting another piece of the vocabulary instruction puzzle. The Reading Teacher, 67, 193-200. 10.1002/TRTR.1197

McKeown, M.G., Crosson, A.C., Sandora, C., Artz, N. & Beck, I.B. (2013). In the media:

Expanding students’ experience with academic vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 67, 45-53. 10.1002/TRTR.1179

Crosson, A.C. & Lesaux, N.K. (2013). Does knowledge of connectives play a special role in the reading comprehension of English learners and English-only students? Journal of Research in Reading, 36, 241-260. 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2011.01501.x

Crosson, A.C., Matsumura, L.C., Correnti, R.J. & Guerrero-Arlotta, A. (2012). The quality of writing tasks and English language learners' use of academic language in Spanish.  [Special issue on academic language].  Elementary School Journal, 112, 469-496. 10.1086/663298

Crosson, A.C. & Lesaux, N.K. (2010). Revisiting assumptions about the relationship of fluent reading to comprehension: Spanish-speakers' text-reading fluency in English. Reading and Writing, 23, 475-494. 10.1007/s11145-009-9168-8

Lesaux, N.K., Crosson, A.C., Kieffer, M.J. & Pierce, M. (2010). Uneven profiles: Language minority learners' word reading, vocabulary, and reading comprehension skills. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 31, 475-483. 10.1016/j.appdev.2010.09.004

Learn about English Learners’ Robust Academic Vocabulary Encounters