Shawna completed her undergraduate degree in Psycholinguistics at the University of Toronto in Canada, and later completed the MSc program in Applied Linguistics and Second language Acquisition at the University of Oxford.
She has a wide range of experiences in the field of Linguistics as a teaching and research assistant in areas such as theoretical linguistics, phonology, speech-language pathology, language acquisition, and creole studies. Being a native of Jamaica herself, Shawna has carried out extensive work on creole language acquisition. She worked with the University of the West Indies to draft the first Jamaican (Creole) as a Foreign Language course, and with the U.S Peace Corps to assess and revamp an existing language program for volunteers.
Shawna’s current research focuses on the development of writing skills in children with English as an additional language (EAL) in the highly diverse and multilingual city of Toronto, where she now lives. Given the importance of writing in education and assessment, the study aims to shed light on the challenges faced by children with EAL in this area of literacy, and subsequently develop intervention strategies.
- Helms-Park, R., Tucker, S, & Dronjic, V. (2016). From proto-writing to multimedia literacy: scripts and orthographies through the ages. In Chen Bumgardner, V. Dronjic,, & R. Helms-Park (Eds.), Second Language Reading: Psycholinguistic and Cognitive Perspectives (pp. 1-31). New York, NY: Routledge Publishers.
- Eriks-Brophy, A., Green, S., & Tucker, S. (2013). Articulatory error patterns and phonological process use of preschool children with and without hearing loss. Volta Review.