Faculty Profile EMPHASIS AREA: LLC. Early literacy; English learners; Bilingualism and bilingual education; Educational television and multimedia; Language acquisitionAssociate Dean's Office

Yuuko Uchikoshi Tonkovich

Professor and Chair of Undergraduate Programs

Portrait of Yuuko Uchikoshi Tonkovich


Research Interests

Early Childhood; Multilingual Learners; Bilingualism and Bilingual Education; Educational Television and Multimedia; Language Acquisition; Early literacy Development; Quantitative Methods


  • Ed.D., Human Development and Psychology, 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

  • Mak, E., Nichiporuk Vanni, N., Yang, X., Lara, M., Zhou, Q., & Uchikoshi, Y. (2023) Parental perceptions of bilingualism and home language vocabulary: Young bilingual children from low-income immigrant Mexican American and Chinese American families. Front. Psychol.14:1059298. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1059298 

  • Kepinska, O., Caballero, J., Oliver, M., Marks, R.A., Haft, S.L., Zekelman, L., Kovelman, I., Uchikoshi, Y., & Hoeft, F. (2023). Language combinations of multilinguals are reflected in their first-language knowledge and processing. Scientific Reports 13, 1947. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-27952-2https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-27952-2

  • Chan, M., Buttiler, M.B., Yang, F., Yang, J., Uchikoshi, Y., & Zhou, Q. (2022). Teachers’ language use in multilingual Head Start classrooms: Implications for dual language learners. Children, 9(12), 1871. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9121871.

  • Mauer, E., Uchikoshi, Y., Bunge, S., & Zhou, Q. (2022). Longitudinal Relations Between Self-Regulatory Skills and Mathematics Achievement in Early Elementary School Children in Chinese American Immigrant Families. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

  • Marks, R., Labotka, D., Sun, X., Nickerson, N., Zhang, K., Eggleston, R., Yu, C-L., Uchikoshi, Y., Hoeft, F. & Kovelman, I. (2022). Morphological awareness and its role in early word reading in English monolinguals, Spanish–English, and Chinese–English simultaneous bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-16. doi:10.1017/S1366728922000517

  • Kang, H-S & Uchikoshi, Y. (2022). Child second language development of English tense and aspect: The role of narrative organization. Applied Psycholinguistics, 43(4), 785-804. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S014271642200014

  • Berube, D., Uchikoshi, Y., & Marinova-Todd, S. (2022). A longitudinal examination of French and English reading comprehension in French immersion programs in Canada. Applied Psycholinguistics, 1034. doi:10.1017/S0142716422000030

  • Uchikoshi, Y., Lindblad, M., Plascencia, C., Tran, H., Yu, H., Bautista, K.J., & Zhou, Q. (2021). Parental acculturation and children’s bilingual abilities: A study with Chinese American and Mexican American Preschool DLLs. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.761043

  • Li, H., Kepinska, O., Caballero, J.N., Zekelman, L., Marks, R., Uchikoshi, Y., Kovelman, I., Hoeft, F. (2021). Decoding the role of the cerebellum in the early stages of reading acquisition. Cortex. DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2021.02.03

  • Haft, S. L., Gys., C.L., Bunge, S., Uchikoshi, Y., Zhou, Q. (2021). Home language environment and executive function in Mexican American and Chinese American Preschoolers in Head Start. Early Education and Development

  • He, S., Yang, L., Leung, G., Zhou, Q, Tong, R & Uchikoshi, Y. (2021) Language proficiency and competence: upper elementary students in a Dual-Language Bilingual Education program, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2021.1987443

  • Leung, G., Calcagno, S., Tong, R. & Uchikoshi, Y. (2021) ‘I think my parents like me being bilingual’: Cantonese–English DLBE upper elementary students mediating parental ideologies about multilingualism, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2021.1975721

  • Chernoff, J.J., Keuter, S., Uchikoshi, Y., Quick, H., & Manship, K. (2021). Challenges in Assessing California’s Diverse Dual Language Learners. American Institute for Research. https://californiadllstudy.org/sites/default/files/2021-02/Challenges%20in%20Assessing%20California%E2%80%99s%20Diverse%20DLLs.pdf

  • Mauer, E., Zhou, Q., & Uchikoshi, Y. (2021). A Longitudinal Study on Bidirectional Relations between Executive Functions and English Word-Level Reading in Chinese American Children in Immigrant FamiliesLearning and Individual Differences.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2021.101976

  • Larson, A., Zhe, A., Wood C., Uchikoshi, Y., Cycyk, L., Hammer, C.S. Escobar, Ky., Roberts, K. (2020). Social validity in early language interventions for dual language learners: A systematic review of the literature. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 40(1).  https://doi.org/10.1177/0271121419901289

  • Haft, S.L., Caballero, J.N., Tanaka, H., Zekelman, L., Cutting, L.E., Uchikoshi, Y., & Hoeft, F. (2019). Direct and indirect contributions of executive function to word decoding and reading comprehension in kindergarten.  Learning and Individual Differences.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2019.101783

  • Marks, R.A., Kovelman, I., Kepinska, O., Oliver, M., Xia, Z., Haft, S.L., Zekelman, L., Duong, P., Uchikoshi, Y., Hancock, R., & Hoeft, F. (2019). Spoken language proficiency predicts print-speech convergence in beginning readers. NeuroImage. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116021 

  • Chung, S., Zhou, Q., & Uchikoshi, Y. (2019). Parent-Child Language Proficiency and Parenting Styles among Mexican American and Chinese American Families with Young Dual Language Learners. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

  • Larson, A.L., Cycyk, L.M., Carta, J., Hammer, C.S., Baralt, M., Uchikoshi, Y., An, Z.G., & Wood, C. (2019). A systematic review of language-focused interventions for culturally and linguistically diverse children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly​.
  • Uchikoshi, Y. (2019). Phonological awareness trajectories: Young Spanish-English and Cantonese-English bilinguals.  Language Learning.
  • Conger, D., Gibbs, C., Uchikoshi, Y., & Winsler A.  (2019). New benefits of public school pre-kindergarten programs: Early school stability, reduced retention, and early exit from ELL services.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 48(3), 26-35.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.10.015
  • Uchikoshi, Y. & Marinova-Todd, S.H.  (2019). The effect of dual language proficiency on literacy development in emergent bilinguals in the U.S. and Canada.  In Uccelli, P., Rowe, M., Lieven, E., & Gover, V. Learning through Language: Towards an Educationally Informed Theory of Language Learning.  Cambridge University Press
  • Lucero, A. & Uchikoshi, Y.  (2019).  Narrative Assessment with 1st Grade Spanish-English Emergent Bilinguals: Spontaneous versus Retell Conditions. Narrative Inquiry, 29(1), 137-156.
  • Chen, S., Uchikoshi, Y., & Zhou, Q. (2018).  Heritage Language Socialization in Chinese American Immigrant Families: Prospective Links to Children’s Heritage Language Proficiency. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.
  • Williams, A.I., Uchikoshi, Y., Bunge, S.A., Zhou, Q. (2018).  Relations of English and heritage language proficiency to response inhibition and attention shifting in dual language learners in Head Start.  Early Education and Development
  • Yang, L., Leung, R., Tong., R., Uchikoshi, Y. (2018). Student attitudes and Cantonese proficiency in a Cantonese dual-immersion school.  Foreign Language Annals. https://rdcu.be/4woX
  • Leung, G., Tong., R., Uchikoshi, Y. (2018).  “Learning Cantonese will help us”: Elementary school students’ perceptions of dual language education. Bilingual Research Journal.
  • 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.
  • Uchikoshi, Y. & Maniates, H. (2010). How does bilingual instruction enhance English achievement?: A mixed-methods study of Cantonese-speaking and Spanish-speaking bilingual classrooms. Bilingual Research Journal, 33(3), 1-22.
  • Marinova-Todd, S. & Uchikoshi, Y.  (2010).  The role of L1 on the oral language development in English: The case of Chinese and Spanish.  In A.Y. Durgunoglu  &  C.Goldenberg  (Eds.). Language and Literacy Development in Bilingual Settings.  NY: Guilford.
  • Reyes, I. & Uchikoshi, Y.  (2009).  Emergent literacy in immigrant children: Home and school environment interface.   In E. Grigorenko and R.Takanishi (Eds.).  Immigration, Diversity, and Education.  Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group.
  • Uchikoshi, Y. (2008).  Effects of television on language and literacy development. In A.G. Bus & S.B. Neuman (Eds.).  Multimedia and Literacy Development: Improving Achievement for Young Learners. Oxford: Taylor & Francis.
  • Uchikoshi, Y. (2006).  English vocabulary development in bilingual kindergartners: What are the best predictors? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 9(1), 33-49
  • Uchikoshi, Y. (2006).  Early reading development in bilingual kindergarteners:  Can educational  television help?  Scientific Studies of Reading, 10 (1), 89-120.
  • Uchikoshi, Y. (2005). Narrative development in bilingual kindergarteners: Can Arthur help?  Developmental Psychology, 41 (3), 464-78.  (This study met the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards, resulting in a WWC review)

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

  • Associate Editor,  Applied Psycholinguistics.
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Journal of Educational Psychology.
  • Member, Bridging the Word Gap National Research Network. Work Group 5 (Interventions for Dual Language Learners) Member.
  • Member, Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for First 5 California Dual Language Learner Study
  • Member. Advisory Board. PBS Ready to Learn Literacy Project.

Courses Taught at UC Davis

  • EDU173/LIN173 Language Development
  • EDU100 Introduction to Schools
  • EDU122 Children, Learning, and Material Culture 
  • 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
  • EDU065ABC Foundations for University Success: International Students

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.


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