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 Associate Dean of Academic 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

Professional Experience

Professor, School of Education, University of California, Davis, 2019–present 

Associate Professor, School of Education, University of California, Davis, 2012–2019

Assistant Professor, School of Education, University of California, Davis, 2004–2012


  • 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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