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' literacy development. Now, as an Associate Professor of Early Literacy in the Stanford Graduate School of Education, I focus on research and practice related to literacy development and instruction of early childhood and elementary age children from diverse backgrounds. Specifically, I have conducted research on using read alouds, multimedia, cross-age peer learning, and small group dialogic instruction to support the vocabulary development and reading comprehension of diverse learners. I have published this research in such journals as Reading Research Quarterly and the Elementary School Journal. Additionally, I have been involved in teacher education and professional development for general and special education teachers in the U.S. and, having been a Fulbright Scholar in Myanmar, internationally as well. I am a member of the Center for Supporting Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University, and I lead the Language to Literacy Research Lab ( Currently, I am engaged in a robust Research-Practice partnership focused on literacy with the San Francisco Unified School District. Across my research and teaching, my goal is to shed light on innovative ways for facilitating the literacy development of diverse learners in order to ensure that all children have the opportunity to become engaged 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

My research focuses on early language and literacy development and instruction.

2021-22 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • The Effect of a Language and Literacy Intervention on Upper Elementary Bilingual Students' Argument Writing ELEMENTARY SCHOOL JOURNAL Silverman, R. D., Proctor, C., Harring, J. R., Taylor, K. S., Johnson, E. M., Jones, R., Lee, Y. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1086/716897

    View details for Web of Science ID 000726188900001

  • Centering Language and Student Voice in Multilingual Literacy Instruction READING TEACHER Proctor, C., Silverman, R. D., Jones, R. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1002/trtr.2051

    View details for Web of Science ID 000684168700001

  • Revisiting Reading Buddies to Support Multilingual Learners and Their Peers READING TEACHER Silverman, R. D., Martin-Beltran, M., Peercy, M. M., Taylor, K. S. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1002/trtr.2045

    View details for Web of Science ID 000679567200001

  • Early Screening for Decoding- and Language-Related Reading Difficulties in First and Third Grades ASSESSMENT FOR EFFECTIVE INTERVENTION Silverman, R. D., McNeish, D., Speece, D. L., Ritchey, K. D. 2021; 46 (2): 99–109
  • Beyond Decoding: A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Language Comprehension Interventions on K-5 Students' Language and Literacy Outcomes READING RESEARCH QUARTERLY Silverman, R. D., Johnson, E., Keane, K., Khanna, S. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1002/rrq.346

    View details for Web of Science ID 000565867600001

  • The power of "Screen Time": Harnessing It to Promote Language and Literacy Learning in Early Childhood and Elementary School American Educator Silverman, R. D., Keane, K. 2020
  • Teaching Bilingual Learners: Effects of a Language-Based Reading Intervention on Academic Language and Reading Comprehension in Grades 4 and 5 READING RESEARCH QUARTERLY Proctor, C., Silverman, R. D., Harring, J. R., Jones, R., Hartranft, A. M. 2020; 55 (1): 95–122

    View details for DOI 10.1002/rrq.258

    View details for Web of Science ID 000505297100006

  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Investigating video as a means to promote vocabulary for at-risk children Contemporary Educational Psychology Silverman, R. 2013; 38 (3): 170-179
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Vocabulary practices in prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms Reading Research Quarterly Silverman, R., Crandell, J. D. 2010; 45 (3): 318-340
  • 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
  • Vocabulary development of English-language and English-only learners in kindergarten The Elementary School Journal Silverman, R. D. 2007; 107 (4): 365-383
  • A comparison of three methods of vocabulary instruction during read-alouds in kindergarten The Elementary School Journal Silverman, R. 2007; 108 (2): 97-113
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Early Literacy Instruction for Emergent Bilinguals READING RESEARCH QUARTERLY Crosson, A. C., Silverman, R. D. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1002/rrq.456

    View details for Web of Science ID 000729332200001

  • 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
  • Explorations of Classroom Talk and Links to Reading Achievement in Upper Elementary Classrooms JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY Goodwin, A. P., Cho, S., Reynolds, D., Silverman, R., Nunn, S. 2021; 113 (1): 27–48

    View details for DOI 10.1037/edu0000462

    View details for Web of Science ID 000610912000003

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • On the unnecessary ubiquity of hierarchical linear modeling. Psychological Methods McNeish, D., Stapleton, L. M., Silverman, R. D. 2017; 22 (1): 114
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • ' 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Confounds in assessing the associations between biliteracy and English language proficiency Educational Researcher Proctor, P., Silverman, R. D. 2011; 40 (2): 62-64