Reading, Language, and Mathematics (ReaLM) Lab

ReaLM explores the development of children's literacy skills and academic learning, and aims to empower families and teachers with innovative interventions.

Founded by Dr. Jessica Chan, the Reading, Language, and Mathematics (ReaLM) Lab aims to advance our understanding about children’s language and literacy development, and examine the role of literacy in academic learning for children from diverse backgrounds.

The ReaLM lab leads research projects that involves families with school-aged children across grades 1 through 6. In addition, Dr. Chan aims to bridge research to practice through knowledge translation within teaching in the B.Ed. and graduate education programs, and working with community partners to develop resources to enhance public awareness about early language and literacy development.

ReaLM conducts research on broad topics within the field of literacy education, including:

  • Literacy development and academic learning
  • Language-based disorders among English monolingual and multilingual students
  • Family literacy processes and interventions to enrich the home language and literacy environment.

Some of the questions we address within our research projects include:

  1. What makes reading challenging for some children?
  2. How do literacy skills support math learning?
  3. What cognitive and linguistic skills relate to reading for children exposed to one or more languages?
  4. How does the home environment impact future academic success?

Improving children’s early reading development with new CFI funding

The funding from CFI will support Dr. Chan’s research program to apply a holistic approach in understanding children’s literacy development. Part of the award will go towards creating a family-friendly environment in the ReaLM Lab where children and caregivers can read and interact together naturally.

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Projects and Partnerships

This project aims to enhance the home literacy environment for families with elementary-aged children by collaborating with the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) to create family resource literacy kits. These kits, focused on themes like Families, Nature, and Kindness, consist of books and activities designed to promote various literacy dimensions and encourage family engagement. By leveraging evidence-informed resources and community sessions, the project seeks to disseminate effective early literacy practices, increase accessibility to resources, and foster reading experiences at home.

The kits will be available for check-out at the downtown Kelowna library, 1390 Ellis St, starting mid-March. Families can also request to borrow the kit at the nearest Okanagan Regional library location.

This project is supported by a UBC Partnership Recognition and Exploration Grant

Special acknowledgements for Julia Magacho and Yukie Ueda for their contributions.  

Support Acknowledgement

The Lab has received support from:

  • Elevate & Mobilize EDI Research Grants in Education (EMERGE), Faculty of Education, The University of British Columbia
  • UBC Partnership Recognition and Exploration Fund