Current students

PhD Students

Janet Cerda

Ph.D. candidate in Human Development and Psychology (Expected Summer 2023)
M.S.Ed. in Bilingual Education, City University of New York, Hunter College, 2009
B.A. Hons. in Studio Art, Oberlin College, 2005

My research investigates the psychosocial and bi/multilingual development of immigrant children and youth over time and examines classroom assessment practices that document multilingual and multicultural teaching and learning. My work is informed by my professional experiences as a Spanish and English New York City bilingual teacher (grades 3, 5, 5, 6) and my personal experiences learning English as a new/second language in primary/ secondary school, while continuing to develop my heritage langauge (Spanish) at home with the support of my dedicated Mexican parents.

Clémence Darriet
Ph.D. student in Social Sciences and Comparative Education (Expected June 2024)
M.A. in Spanish, University of Wisconsin-Madison – 2012
B.A. in Anthropology, Spanish, International Studies – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009

I am a Ph.D. student in the Social Sciences and Comparative Education division with an interest in bilingual education. I currently work as a graduate student researcher at RFK UCLA Community School documenting the development of the secondary dual-language program through documenting paths to biliteracy. Prior to coming to UCLA, I was a high school Spanish and French teacher.

Juno Yingzhi Dong

Ph.D. student in Education – Human Development & Psychology 
M.A.  in Humanities (Linguistics), University of Chicago, 2019
B.A. in Global Studies and French, Colby College, 2018

I am interested in translanguaging as a theory and practice in education. My research focuses on supporting young dual language learners (DLLs) in early childhood settings. Prior to coming to HDP, I worked as a research assistant and a Mandarin teacher.

Han Lee

Joint Doc Ph.D student in Special Education – Human Development & Psychology
M.S in Special Education – CSU East Bay
M.A in Educational Psychology – Pepperdine University

My research interests focus on addressing the disproportionate rates of English Learners in special education by examining the inaccuracy of current identification processes of the educational system. My own teaching experiences with culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities have been instrumental in shaping my hopes to support future special education teachers through fieldwork and research.

Yifei Wang (Phoebe)

Ph.D. student in Human Development and Psychology, School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA
M.S.Ed. in Learning Sciences and Technologies, University of Pennsylvania
B.Econ. in Finance & B.A. in English, Beijing Foreign Studies University

I am a Ph.D. student in Human Development and Psychology at UCLA. My research interests include sociolinguistics and Language Variation; bilingualism, bilectalism and multilingualism; language assessment; first and second language acquisition.

Le Xiu, Rosie

M.A. student in Human Development and Psychology, School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA
B.A. in Creative Writing and Early Childhood & Family Studies, University of Washington, 2022

My current research is focused on investigating the “approaches to learning” adopted by students in dual language education models and bilingual environments, specifically in mathematics classrooms. During my prior experience, I taught mathematics to elementary school students using a hybrid instruction approach in Seattle and California areas for one year.

Yawen Yu
Ph.D. candidate in Human Development and Psychology (Expected June 2023)
M.A. in Humanities Studies – University of Chicago, IL 
B.A. in Philosophy – Zhejiang Gongshang University, China

I am interested in how culture, family practices and one’s identity influence language learning, and in understanding the effect of bilingual education on child development. My current research explores the relationship between academic performance of dual language immersion students and their self-concept.  My dissertation explores the cultural patterns of Chinese family talk and ways to support Chinese children’s development through daily conversations.

Edwin Zamora

Doctoral Student in Human Development and Psychology

B.A. Psychology, UCLA

My interest in the language and literacy outcomes of multilingual children stems from my experience as Sequential bilingual (Spanish) who went through ELD during my early schooling. As an undergraduate, I encountered the literature on the ‘bilingual advantage’ and immersed myself in research shortly after. I was propelled into the field as McNair Scholar and quickly became invested in generating studies with an asset-based perspective of heritage languages.

Xizi (Sue) Zhang

Ph.D. student in Human Development and Psychology, School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA
Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University, 2020
M.A. in Learning Sciences, Northwestern University, 2018
B.A. in Elementary Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2017

I am primarily interested in the language and literacy development of bilingual and multilingual learners. My research interest in this area was piqued by my experience working with ESL students in Ann Arbor public schools and teaching EFL learners in China. I also have a background in academic language research, having worked as a research assistant at Harvard and Fudan University in China. There, I studied how adolescent EFL students write in English across communicative contexts.