I began my career in education as an elementary school teacher in my hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. My primary passion in teaching was supporting students' language and literacy. Accordingly, my research is focused on the language and literacy development and instruction of early childhood and elementary age children from diverse backgrounds. I am particularly interested in how to best support children who may have difficulty in learning to read and write. I conduct both exploratory and experimental research. In my exploratory work, I have studied the relationship between language skills and reading and writing outcomes. I have also examined the association between instructional practices and students' literacy development. In my experimental work, I have investigated interactive and extended read alouds, peer learning, multimedia supports, and small group intervention for diverse learners. In both my exploratory and experimental research, my goal is to shed light on innovative ways for facilitating the language and literacy development of diverse learners in order to ensure that all children have the opportunity to become proficient readers and writers in school and beyond.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Associate Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education (2018 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Visiting Associate Professor (Fulbright Scholar), Yangon University of Education (2017 - 2018)
  • Director, Language and Literacy Research Center, University of Maryland (2014 - 2018)
  • Associate Professor, Special Education, University of Maryland (2012 - 2018)
  • Assistant Professor, Special Education, University of Maryland (2006 - 2012)
  • Director, Jeanne Chall Reading Lab, Harvard University (2005 - 2006)

Professional Education

  • Ed.D., Harvard University, Human Development and Psychology (2005)
  • Ed.M., Harvard University, Language and Literacy (2001)
  • B.A., George Washington University, English (1998)

Research Interests

  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood
  • Elementary Education
  • Literacy and Language
  • Parents and family issues
  • Teachers and Teaching
  • Technology and Education

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

In order to support students in early childhood and elementary education, language and literacy curriculum and intervention need to address the needs of diverse teachers and students. This year, I am working on two projects investigating the implementation of curriculum and intervention in early childhood and elementary school classrooms. In one project, I am studying the implementation of an integrated early childhood curriculum in Head Start classrooms in Maryland ( In another project, I am working in a Research Practice Partnership with SFUSD ( to examine teachers' implementation and students' outcomes in the context of supplemental literacy intervention. In these projects and others in which I am involved, my goal is to understand the role of teachers' differentiation of instruction and intervention for supporting the language and literacy development of diverse learners.

2019-20 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Teaching bilingual learners: Effects of a language-based reading intervention on academic language and reading comprehension in fourth and fifth grade Reading Research Quarterly Proctor, C. P., Silverman, R. D., Harring, J. R., Jones, R. L., Hartranft, A. M. 2019
  • Features of instructional talk predictive of reading comprehension Reading and Writing Michener, C. J., Proctor, P., Silverman, R. D. 2018; 31 (3): 725-756
  • Effects of a cross-age peer learning program on the vocabulary and comprehension of English learners and non-English learners in elementary school The Elementary School Journal Silverman, R. D., Martin-Beltrán, M., Peercy, M. M., Hartranft, A. M., McNeish, D. M., Artzi, L., Nunn, S. 2017; 117 (3): 485-512
  • The relationship between language skills and writing outcomes for linguistically diverse students in upper elementary school The Elementary School Journal Silverman, R. D., Coker, D., Proctor, P., Harring, J., Piantedosi, K. W., Hartranft, A. M. 2015; 116 (1): 103-125

    View details for DOI 10.1086/683135

  • Language skills and reading comprehension in English monolingual and Spanish–English bilingual children in grades 2–5 Reading and Writing Silverman, R. D., Proctor, P., Harring, J. R., Hartranft, A. M., Doyle, B., Zelinke, S. B. 2015; 28 (9): 1381-1405
  • Immediate and long-term effects of tier 2 reading instruction for first-grade students with a high probability of reading failure Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness Case, L., Speece, D., Silverman, R., Schatschneider, C., Montanaro, E., Ritchey, K. 2014; 7 (1): 28-53
  • Teachers' instruction and students' vocabulary and comprehension: An exploratory study with English monolingual and Spanish–English bilingual students in Grades 3–5 Reading Research Quarterly Silverman, R. D., Proctor, P., Harring, J. R., Doyle, B., Mitchell, M. A., Meyer, A. G. 2014; 49 (1): 31-60
  • Read alouds and beyond: The effects of read aloud extension activities on vocabulary in Head Start classrooms Early Education & Development Silverman, R., Crandell, J. D., Carlis, L. 2013; 24 (2): 98-122
  • Fluency has a role in the simple view of reading Scientific Studies of Reading Silverman, R. D., Speece, D. L., Harring, J. R., Ritchey, K. D. 2013; 17 (2): 108-133
  • Effects of a tier 2 supplemental reading intervention for at-risk fourth-grade students Exceptional children Ritchey, K. D., Silverman, R. D., Montanaro, E. A., Speece, D. L., Schatschneider, C. 2012; 78 (3): 318-334
  • Vocabulary practices in prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms Reading Research Quarterly Silverman, R., Crandell, J. D. 2010; 45 (3): 318-340
  • The Biliteracy Translation Measure: Using Written Translations to Index Bilingualism and Biliteracy in Spanish and English NYS TESOL Journal Leider, C. M., Proctor, P., Silverman, R. D. Submitted
  • A Synthesis of Reading Comprehension Interventions for Persons With Mild Intellectual Disability REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH Shelton, A., Wexler, J., Silverman, R. D., Stapleton, L. M. 2019; 89 (4): 612–51
  • 'Time for una pregunta': understanding Spanish use and interlocutor response among young English learners in cross-age peer interactions while reading and discussing text INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION AND BILINGUALISM Martin-Beltran, M., Montoya-Avila, A., Garcia, A. A., Peercy, M., Silverman, R. 2019; 22 (1): 17–34
  • Observational research on vocabulary and comprehension in upper elementary school classrooms Learning through language: Towards an educationally informed theory of language learning. Silverman, R. D., Hartranft, A. M. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 2019
  • The relationship between media type and vocabulary learning in a cross age peer-learning program for linguistically diverse elementary school students CONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY Silverman, R. D., Artzi, L., McNeish, D. M., Hartranft, A. M., Martin-Beltran, M., Peercy, M. 2019; 56: 106–16
  • Linguistic interdependence between Spanish language and English language and reading: A longitudinal exploration from second through fifth grade Bilingual Research Journal Proctor, P., Harring, J. R., Silverman, R. D. 2017; 40 (4): 372-391
  • On the unnecessary ubiquity of hierarchical linear modeling. Psychological Methods McNeish, D., Stapleton, L. M., Silverman, R. D. 2017; 22 (1): 114
  • Effects of an informational text reading comprehension intervention for fifth-grade students Learning Disability Quarterly Ritchey, K. D., Palombo, K., Silverman, R. D., Speece, D. L. 2017; 40 (2): 68-80
  • Developing a zone of relevance: Emergent bilinguals’ use of social, linguistic, and cognitive support in peer-led literacy discussions International Multilingual Research Journal Martin-Beltrán, M., Daniel, S., Peercy, M., Silverman, R. 2017; 11 (3): 152-166
  • Using digital texts vs. paper texts to read together: Insights into engagement and mediation of literacy practices among linguistically diverse students International Journal of Educational Research Martin-Beltrán, M., Tigert, J. M., Peercy, M. M., Silverman, R. D. 2017; 82: 135-146
  • An investigation of literacy practices in high school science classrooms Reading & Writing Quarterly Wexler, J., Mitchell, M. A., Clancy, E. E., Silverman, R. D. 2017; 33 (3): 258-277
  • Moving beyond yes or no: Shifting from over‐scaffolding to contingent scaffolding in literacy instruction with emergent bilingual students TESOL Journal Daniel, S. M., Martin‐Beltrán, M., Peercy, M. M., Silverman, R. 2016; 7 (2): 393-420
  • Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? Modeling the contributions of language comprehension skills to reading comprehension in the upper elementary grades Scientific Studies of Reading Kieffer, M. J., Petscher, Y., Proctor, P., Silverman, R. D. 2016; 20 (6): 436-454
  • Effects of a multimedia enhanced reading buddies program in kindergarten and fourth grade Journal of Educational Research Silverman, R. D., Kim, Y., Hartranft, A., Nunn, S., McNeish, D. 2016
  • Culturally sustaining pedagogy within monolingual language policy: Variability in instruction Language policy Michener, C. J., Sengupta-Irving, T., Proctor, P., Silverman, R. 2015; 14 (3): 199-220
  • Prediction and stability of reading problems in middle childhood Journal of Learning Disabilities Ritchey, K. D., Silverman, R. D., Schatschneider, C., Speece, D. L. 2015; 48 (3): 298-309
  • Curricular design and implementation as a site of teacher expertise and learning Teachers and Teaching Peercy, M. M., Martin-Beltrán, M., Silverman, R. D., Daniel, S. 2015; 21 (7): 867-893
  • ' Can I Ask a Question? ' ESOL and Mainstream Teachers Engaging in Distributed and Distributive Learning to Support English Language Learners' Text Comprehension. Teacher Education Quarterly Peercy, M. M., Martin-Beltrán, M., Silverman, R. D., Nunn, S. J. 2015; 42 (4): 33-58
  • Comparing reading profiles of biliterate Latino/a children in elementary school: Evidence from the simple view of reading Miríada hispánica Proctor, P., Harring, J. R., Silverman, R. 2015: 59-82
  • Promoting critical-analytic thinking in children and adolescents at home and in school Educational Psychology Review Murphy, K., Rowe, M. L., Ramani, G., Silverman, R. 2014; 26 (4): 561-578
  • The role of pictures and gestures as nonverbal aids in preschoolers’ word learning in a novel language Contemporary Educational Psychology Rowe, M. L., Silverman, R. D., Mullan, B. E. 2013; 38 (2): 109-117
  • Examining the role of vocabulary depth, cross-linguistic transfer, and types of reading measures on the reading comprehension of Latino bilinguals in elementary school Reading and Writing Leider, C. M., Proctor, P., Silverman, R. D., Harring, J. R. 2013; 26 (9): 1459-1485
  • Investigating video as a means to promote vocabulary for at-risk children Contemporary Educational Psychology Silverman, R. 2013; 38 (3): 170-179
  • The role of vocabulary depth in predicting reading comprehension among English monolingual and Spanish–English bilingual children in elementary school Reading and Writing Proctor, P., Silverman, R. D., Harring, J. R., Montecillo, C. 2012; 25 (7): 1635-1664
  • A second-order conditionally linear mixed effects model with observed and latent variable covariates Structural equation modeling: a multidisciplinary journal Harring, J. R., Kohli, N., Silverman, R. D., Speece, D. L. 2012; 19 (1): 118-136
  • Difficulty of words encountered in first-grade basal readers: A Rasch model for preschool ELL and monolingual English speakers American Educational Research Journal Leung, C., Silverman, R., Nadakumar, N., Hines, S. 2011; 48 (2): 421-461
  • Confounds in assessing the associations between biliteracy and English language proficiency Educational Researcher Proctor, P., Silverman, R. D. 2011; 40 (2): 62-64
  • Validation of a supplemental reading intervention for first-grade children Journal of learning disabilities Case, L. P., Speece, D. L., Silverman, R., Ritchey, K. D., Schatschneider, C., Cooper, D. H., Montanaro, E., Jacobs, D. 2010; 43 (5): 402-417
  • Identifying children in middle childhood who are at risk for reading problems School psychology review Speece, D. L., Ritchey, K. D., Silverman, R., Schatschneider, C., Walker, C. Y., Andrusik, K. N. 2010; 39 (2): 258
  • The effects of multimedia-enhanced instruction on the vocabulary of English-language learners and non-English-language learners in pre-kindergarten through second grade. Journal of educational psychology Silverman, R., Hines, S. 2009; 101 (2): 305
  • A comparison of three methods of vocabulary instruction during read-alouds in kindergarten The Elementary School Journal Silverman, R. 2007; 108 (2): 97-113
  • Vocabulary development of English-language and English-only learners in kindergarten The Elementary School Journal Silverman, R. D. 2007; 107 (4): 365-383