This is my current main research project. This is the same introductory text I wrote for our laboratory website:
Most studies of language learning disabilities focus on children or adolescents, not adults. Yet, at the same time we know that the largest group of incoming college students with disabilities are students with learning disabilities. While learning disabilities are heterogeneous, language is often affected in them. It is thus a pressing issue to find out more about college students with language learning disabilities, and locate ways these students could be supported better in achieving their educational aims.
As postsecondary students with language learning disabilities were admitted to college, they presumably have efficient learning strategies. Do these differ from the strategies of their typically developing peers? How do students compensate for their disability? Do they use environmental, social resources to cope? Do they structure their learning differently?
The current, first phase of this project uses a mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative) approach to explore these and similar questions. Before we design more quantitative experiments, our first goal is to hear from students with language learning disabilities in their own words, so that we will be able to focus our later efforts on what they find important and useful in their daily lives. Unlike schoolchildren, who often struggle with verbalizing their lived experience, adult students can provide a large amount of information.
We are gathering data using a combination of videotaped interviews, surveys and behavioral tasks. We are currently recruiting both students with language learning disabilities, and typically developing students as controls.