Faculty Profile EMPHASIS AREA: LLC. Early literacy; English learners; Bilingualism and bilingual education; Educational television and multimedia; Language acquisition

Yuuko Uchikoshi Tonkovich
Associate Professor, Chair of the Undergraduate Committee


Research Interests

Early Literacy; English Learners; Bilingualism and Bilingual Education; Educational Television and Multimedia; Language Acquisition; Literacy development; Quantitative methods; Sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.


  • Ed.D., Human Development and Psychology with a focus on Language and Literacy Development, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
  • M.S., Applied Linguistics, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
  • B.A. English Literature, University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, Japan.

Select Publications

  • Uchikoshi, Y., Yang, L, & Liu, S. (2017).  Role of narrative skills on reading comprehension: Spanish-English and Cantonese-English Dual Language Learners.  Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.  http://rdcu.be/xZfh
  • Uchikoshi, Y., Yang, L., Lohr, B., & Leung, G. (2016). Role of oral proficiency on reading comprehension: Within-language and cross-language relationships. Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice.
  • Kuo, L-J, Uchikoshi, Y., Kim, T-J., & Yang, X. (2016). The effect of bilingualism on phonological awareness: Re-examining theories of cross-language transfer and structural phonological awareness: Re-examining theories of cross-language transfer and structural sensitivity. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 46, 1-9.
  • Chen, S.H., Zhou, Q., Uchikoshi, Y., Bunge, S. (2014). Variations on the bilingual advantage? Links of Chinese and English proficiency to Chinese American children’s self-regulation. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1069.  doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01069
  • Hammer, C. S., Hoff, E., Uchikoshi, Y., Gillanders, C., Castro, D. C., & Sandilos, L.E. (2014). The language and literacy development of young dual language learners: a critical review. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 715-733. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2014.05.008
  • Uchikoshi, Y. (2014). Development of vocabulary in Spanish-speaking and Cantonese-speaking English Language Learners.  Applied Psycholinguistics, 35 (1), 119-153.
  • Sandhofer, C. & Uchikoshi, Y. (2013). Cognitive consequences of dual language learning: Cognitive function, language and literacy, science and mathematics, and socio-emotional development. In Governor’s State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care. California’s Best Practices for Young Dual Language Learners: Research Overview Papers. Sacramento: CDE Press.
  • Uchikoshi, Y. (2013). Predictors of English reading comprehension: Cantonese-speaking English language learners in the U.S.  Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26(6), 913-939.
  • Leung, G. & Uchikoshi, Y. (2012). Relationships among language ideologies, family language policies, and children’s language achievement: A look at Cantonese-English bilinguals in the U.S.  Bilingual Research Journal.
  • Uchikoshi, Y. & Marinova-Todd, S. (2012). Vocabulary and early literacy skills of Cantonese-speaking English language learners in the U.S. and Canada. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 25(9), 2107-2129.
  • Hammer, C., Jia, G., & Uchikoshi, Y. (2011). Language and literacy development of bilingual preschoolers growing up in the United States: A call for research.  Child Development Perspectives, 5(1), 4-9.

Awards and Honors

  • Foundation of Child Development Young Scholars Program, Grant recipient.
  • International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Finalist. 2005.
  • International Reading Association Jeanne S. Chall Dissertation Fellowship. 2002.
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education Action for Children’s Television Fellowship. 2002.
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education Advanced Doctoral Grant. 2001.
  • Itochu Foundation Fellowship. 1997-1998.
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education Entering Award. 1997.

Current Activities and Service

  • Member, Advisory Board, Disney Junior.
  • Member. Advisory Board. PBS Ready to Learn Literacy Project.

Courses Taught at UC Davis

  • EDU173/LIN173 Language Development
  • EDU100 Introduction to Schools
  • EDU206B Inquiry into Classroom Practice: Intervention and Data Collection
  • EDU206C Inquiry into Classroom Practice: Data Analysis, Interpretation, and Reporting
  • EDU206D Inquiry into Classroom Practice: Analysis
  • EDU242 Research on Text Comprehension
  • EDU245 Theory and Research in Early Literacy
  • FRS004-005 Television and the Developing Child

Funded Research

NIH/NICHD. “Bilingual and Socio-Emotional Development in Dual Language Learners” (R01HD091154). 2017-2022.

Yolo Community Foundation Buck Education Grant.  “Harnessing Parental Engagement to Reduce Summer Reading Loss among English Learners.” 2018.

NIH/NICHD. “Understanding Literacy Acquisition through Immersion in Foreign Languages” (R01HD078351). 2015-2020.

Language Learning. “Cantonese-English Dual Language Immersion study.” 2015-2016.

Foundation for Child Development, “The Cumulative Effect of Primary School Experience on English Language Learners.” 2008-2011.

Foundation for Child Development Young Scholars Program. “Early Literacy Study of Immigrant Children.”  2005-2008.

(530) 754-6271

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