Stefka H. Marinova-Todd


Associate Professor

B.A. (York University)
M. Ed., Ed.D. (Harvard University)


Phone: (604) 822-0276
Fax: (604) 822-6569


Stefka Marinova-Todd’s main research focus is on bilingual language development and second language acquisition. Currently, there are two lines in her research program. In the first line she has focused on the language and literacy development of children who are learning English as a second language (ESL-learners), and her aim is to establish the levels of language proficiency in each language of different groups of ESL-learning children (e.g., from Chinese and Filipino background). She is also interested in examining the factors that lead to a high degree of proficiency in a second language for both children and adults. In her second line of research she is interested in investigating the language and cognitive development of bilingual children, both typically-developing and children with autism. Her main goal is to establish what bilingual children can do in each one of their languages, and whether bilingual children with autism are different from monolingual children with autism. For a media interview on this topic, please click here.

Bilingual language and cognitive development: Metalinguistic awareness, language capacities of bilingual children with autism

Language and literacy development in ESL-learners: Language proficiency in the home and school language, effects of oral language on literacy skills

Second Language Acquisition: Ultimate attainment, learner capacities and factors affecting second language acquisition

Dr. Marinova-Todd directs the Bilingualism Research Group

(* indicates a student collaborator)

Language and literacy development in multilingual contexts

*Bérubé, D. & Marinova-Todd, S. H. (2013).  The effect of socio-linguistic factors and English language proficiency on the development of French as a third language.  International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. [Online First], DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2013.820686.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., & *Hall, E. (2013).  Predictors of English spelling in bilingual and monolingual children in Grade 1: The case of Cantonese and Tagalog.  Educational Psychology33(6), 734-754. DOI: 10.1080/01443410.2013.797337

Marinova-Todd, S.H., Siegel, L., & *Mazabel, S. (2013).  The association between morphological awareness and literacy in English Language Learners from different language backgrounds.  Topics in Language Disorders, 33 (1), 93-107.  DOI:10.1097/TLD.0b013e318280f5d5

Uchikoshi, Y., & Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2012). Language proficiency and early literacy skills of Cantonese-Speaking English language learners in the U.S. and Canada.  Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 25 (9), 2107-2129. DOI: 10.1007/s11145-011-9347-2[View]

*Bérubé, D. & Marinova-Todd, S. H. (2012).  The development of language and reading skills in the second and third languages of multilingual children.  International Journal of Multilingualism, 9 (3),  272-293. DOI:10.1080/14790718.2011.631708. [View]

Marinova-Todd, S.H, *Siu, C., & Jenstad, L. (2011) Speech audiometry on non-native speakers of English.  Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 35(3), 220-227.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., &  Uchikoshi, Y. (2010). The Role of L1 on the oral language development in English: The case of Chinese and Spanish.  In A. Durgunoglu & C. Goldenberg (Eds.), Language and Literacy Development in Bilingual Settings (p. 29-60). New York, NU: Guilford Press.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2003).  Know your Grammar: What the Knowledge of Syntax and Morphology in an L2 Reveals about the Critical Period for Second/Foreign Language Acquisition.  In M.P. Garcia-Mayo & M.L. Garcia-Lecumberri (Eds.), Age and the Acquisition of English as a Foreign Language: Theoretical Issues and Field Work (p. 59-73).  Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., Marshall, D.B., & Snow, C.E. (2000). Three Misconceptions about Age and Second Language Acquisition. TESOL Quarterly, 34, 9-34.

Bilingual language development and cognition

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2012). “Corplum is a core from a plum”: The advantages of bilingual children in the analysis of word meanings from verbal context. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15 (1), 117-127DOI: 10.1017/S136672891000043X [View]

*Petersen, J., Marinova-Todd, S.H, & Mirenda, P. (2012).  An exploratory study of lexical skills in bilingual children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42 (7), 1499-1503. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1366-y.[View]

*Ohashi, J. K., Mirenda, P., Marinova-Todd, S.H., Hambly, C., Fombonne, E., et al. (2012).  Comparing early language development in monolingual- and bilingual-exposed young children with autism spectrum disorders.  Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6 (2), 890-897.

*Hack, J., Marinova-Todd, S.H., & Bernhardt, B.M. (2012).  Speech Assessment of Chinese-English Bilingual Children: Accent versus Developmental Level.  International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 4 (6), 509-519. doi:10.3109/17549507.2012.718361.[View]

Marinova-Todd, S.H., *Zhao, J., & Bernhardt, B. (2010).  Phonological awareness skills in the two languages of Mandarin-English bilingual children.  Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 24 (4-5), 387-400. [View]

Conference Presentations

Marinova-Todd, S.H., & Uchikoshi, Y. (June, 2013). Oral proficiency and narrative skills in the spontaneous discourse of children in kindergarten: The case of Cantonese, Spanish and Tagalog.  2013 Child Language Seminar, Manchester, UK.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., & Uchikoshi, Y. (April, 2013).  Transfer across Writing Systems:  Reading among Cantonese-English bilinguals in Grade 2. 2013 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (November, 2012).  The equivalent language abilities of bilingual and monolingual children with autism.  Guiberson, M. (Organizer), Invited symposium on Bilingual Children with Significant Communication Disorders: From Research to Practice, 2012 American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) convention, Atlanta, GA.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., *Bérubé, D. (July 2012).  A comparison of language and reading skills in two groups of French Immersion students from Anglophone and multilingual homes.  Geva, E., Genesee, F., & Savage, R. (Organizers), Invited symposium on Second Language Reading Acquisition in Diverse Contexts – Canadian Perspectives, 19th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), Montreal QC.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. & *Bérubé, D. (April 2012).  Vocabulary and Reading Skills of Cantonese and Filipino ELLs and English Monolinguals in Canada.  Uchikoshi, Y., & Marinova-Todd, S.H. (Organizers), Symposium on Words, Palabras, 詞/词: Effect of Vocabulary on Literacy of ELLs from Pre-K through Grade Two. 2012 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC.

Invited Research Presentations

Marinova-Todd, S.H., Navigating the Wonderland of bilingual children: Their language development and assessment.  Knowledge Mobilization for an International Crosslinguistic Study of Children’s Speech Development, UBC, August 2013.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., Multilingual children in French Immersion programmes in Canada.  Department of Education, University of Oxford, UK, June 2013.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., One language or more? The education and service delivery for bilingual students.  BCASLPA-sponsored talk to educators and SLPs at the Abbotsford School District, Abbotsford, BC, May 2013.

Marinova-Todd, S.H.,  “Jumpeth like[s] drinking ice”: The equivalent language abilities of bilingual and monolingual children with autism.  Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA), UBC, April 2012.

Marinova-Todd, S.H.,  Dire et lire: Language proficiency and reading in multilingual children in French immersion.  Second Language Acquisition Cluster at the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies, UBC, February 2012.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., Words, mots, 詞/词: Vocabulary skills of bilingual children.  Centre for Intercultural Language Studies, UBC, Vancouver, BC.  April 2011.

AUDI 516      Discourse Analysis
AUDI 530C   Research Methods II
AUDI 575     Language Development and Disorders in the School Years
AUDI 585     Language Development Across the Lifespan