Welcome!

Welcome to the website of the Language and Literacy Research Laboratory at Queen’s University, Faculty of Education. This lab conducts research in reading development and reading difficulties, focusing on three main areas: linguistic stress, early intervention for struggling readers, and reading development in second language learners. We receive most of our funding from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council.

We are a busy lab with a number of active students from the faculties of Education, Psychology, and Linguistics. If you are a parent, teacher, or principal who has been approached as a partner in research, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the kind of work we do with students in elementary schools and daycares.

Cranberry Morphemes

How festive!Sometimes a field of study has such a delightful appellation that, when you come upon it, you can’t help but sense the fun someone must have had in naming it. Linguistics has one of those (at least one), and it’s also quite festive: cranberry morpheme. A cranberry morpheme is a bound morpheme that has no independent meaning or grammatical function. That is, it cannot stand on its own (bound), and by itself, it doesn’t mean or do anything. That’s not to say it doesn’t have something to add when in combination with another morpheme; it still distinguishes one word from another. For example,

  • the twi- of twilight
  • the -ceive of perceive, receive, conceive, etc.
  • the cran- of cranberry

For more on cranberry morphemes, see here and here. You can also look it up (and any other linguistic terms you’ve been wondering about) in the lexicon of linguistics.

Posted on December 10th, 2013

Prize-winning meta-analysis!

The LLRLab is currently in Chicago to attend the annual colloquium of the Campbell Collaboration, an international research network that produces systematic reviews of the effects of social interventions (education, social work, crime and justice, etc.). We attended their colloquium last year and were blown away by the quality of the presentations and discussions. Needless to say, we were inspired to conduct our own meta-analysis, and we settled on investigating the relationship between music and reading. The first leg of our meta-analysis looks at the connection between music interventions in schools and students’ phonological awareness. Campbell awarded three prizes to the “fan favourites” of the poster session, and we were lucky enough to be awarded first prize! Here we are, looking chuffed.

Interested in our meta-analysis and its findings? You can download a PDF copy of our poster from our Publications page.

Posted on May 23rd, 2013

LLRLab goes to the prom

Last Friday the ladies in the lab took some time away from their work to celebrate… at the Education grad student prom! (Just kidding, it wasn’t the prom. It was the end of year social event, though — hosted by the Education Graduate Students Society.) We had a great dinner, won some prizes, and spent time with other grad students we hardly get to see during the busy school year. What a fun Friday night! Thanks to the EGSS for hosting.

Posted on April 22nd, 2013

SSHRC Insight Grant winner!

BIG congratulations to our supervisor, Dr. Lesly Wade-Woolley, who found out today that she was awarded an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council! Her co-investigators on the grant are Dr. Clare Wood, Dr. Linda Jarmulouwicz, and Dr. Andrew Holliman. Congratulations and cake all around!

Posted on April 9th, 2013

A real live bat!

We just got word from our building’s custodian that there was a bat sighting earlier today, just outside the lab! A sleepy bat, a rude awakening, and a trip to emerg later, the bat is now at the hospital being tested for rabies and our custodian is just fine.

What a perfectly thematic thing to happen in the year of our Batman Study!

Posted on April 8th, 2013

Queen’s 3MT

Jess, Lesly, and Martha at 3MTLast week, the members of the LLRLab had an evening out… dinner at the Grad Club followed by the finals of the 3-minute Thesis competition! We were all in awe of the impressive communication and presentation skills of the competitors, many of whom boiled down years of work (including results and implications!) to fewer than three minutes! We had no idea how they would pick a winner from so many fantastic competitors, but were thrilled (and on our feet cheering!) when Xiaoqian Liu from our very own Faculty of Education was declared the winner!

You can bet we’ll be at the provincials (conveniently held here at Queen’s) on April 18!

Posted on March 27th, 2013

hyphen shift, stress shift



Funny orthographically, but the resulting stress shift with the movement of the hyphen kind of takes the punch out of this one. Still… our kind of joke!

Posted on February 11th, 2013

Lab love!


After three intense weeks of data collection, the LLRLab is pleased to say that we’re full! We had such a great response again this year — thank you to all the B.Ed. students who took time out of their very busy schedules on campus to support the Batman Study and our research!

Thank you as well to the elementary school teachers and school administrators who supported our pilot study. With their help, we were able to be quick and efficient with minimal interruptions to class time — always the best kind of in-school research!

We’re also proud of the M.Ed. candidates (and a certain Honours Psych student) who worked as RAs on the project — they really went above and beyond, putting in long days to make sure we could reach our participant goal in the allotted time!

Lab love all around!

Posted on February 8th, 2013

Participate in The Batman Study!

Are you an adult who is a native speaker of English? Are you interested in supporting educational research? Then participate in our Batman Study on reading fluency and reading comprehension!

WHAT: We are examining prosody’s role in reading fluency, and the relationship between reading with expression and reading comprehension.

WHERE: On West Campus or Main Campus (Stauffer Library)

WHEN/HOW MUCH TIME: Two one-hour sessions sometime in January or February.

COMPENSATION: You will receive a total of $30 for your time!

To sign up, contact the LLRLab at lab@langlitlab.ca or by phone at 613-533-6000 extension 77425.
NOTE: We were having trouble with our email but it’s fixed now! You can email us!

Posted on January 9th, 2013

Aaaand we’re back.

After a brief hiatus, the Language and Literacy Research Lab website is back! We’re working on getting it updated and back to its former glory. Stay tuned for information on our lab, its students, the current research we’re doing, as well as a summary of what we learned last year during our investigation of music and reading.

It’s good to be back!

Posted on December 12th, 2012

  • Contact

    Language and Literacy Research Lab
    Duncan MacArthur Hall, Room B220
    Queen's University (West Campus)
    Kingston, ON K7M 5R7
    CANADA

    email: lab@langlitlab.ca
    telephone: 613-533-6000, ext. 77425

    Dr. Lesly Wade-Woolley
    email: lesly.wade-woolley@queensu.ca
    telephone: 613/533-6000, ext. 77230