Stefka H. Marinova-Todd


Associate Professor
& Graduate Advisor

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


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

I am a developmental psycholinguist and my main research interests are bilingual language development and second language acquisition.  I am originally from Bulgaria, and on a good day, I consider myself to be a balanced bilingual in English and Bulgarian.  I have also learned Russian, German, French (and a bit of Latin) to various degrees of proficiency.  After completing my undergraduate degree in Developmental Psychology at York University in Canada, and my doctoral degree in Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the U.S., I am now an Associate Professor at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences here at UBC.

I have always been interested in learning new languages myself, and  subsequently devoted my career to discovering the circumstances that lead to most successful second language learning for most people, at any age.  Over the years, I have examined bilingual language development in children, both typically-developing and children with autism.  My main goal has been to establish what bilingual children can do in each one of their languages, and how bilingualism affects their cognitive and academic performance.  More recently, I have been studying bilingual children with autism and my research has consistently shown that children with autism are capable of being successful bilinguals, and are equivalent to monolingual children with autism in language and metalinguistic abilities.  In a different line of research I study second language acquisition in children, adolescents, and adults.   My main goal is to establish the various linguistic, metalinguistic, cognitive, and sociocultural factors that influence their ability to successfully acquire an additional language, and I often, but not always, examine how that ability is reflected in their literacy skills.

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

Language and literacy development in second language 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 second language learners

Uchikoshi, Y., & Marinova-Todd, S.H., (2019). Pushing the Limits: Dual Language Proficiency and Reading Development in the United States and Canada.  In V. Grøver, P. Uccelli, M. Rowe, & E. Lieven (Eds.), Learning through language: Towards an educationally informed theory of language learning (pp. 235-246). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

*Bérubé, D. & Marinova-Todd, S. H. (2014).  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. 17(4), 465-483. 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. (2001).  Missing the Point: A Response to Hyltenstam and Abrahamsson.  TESOL Quarterly, 35, 171-76.

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.,Colozzo, P., Mirenda, P., *Stahl, H., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Parkington, K., Cain, K., Sherba de Valenzuela, J., Segers, E., MacLeod, A., & Genesee, F. (2016). Professional practices and opinions about services available to bilingual children with developmental disabilities: An international study.  Journal of Communication Disorders, 63, 47-62.

Pesco, D., MacLeod, A., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cleave, P., Trudeau, N., Scherba de Valenzuela, J., Cain, K., Marinova-Todd, S.H., Colozzo, P., *Stahl, H., Segers, E, & Verhoeven, L. (2016).  A multi-site review of policies affecting opportunities for children with developmental disabilities to become bilingual. Journal of Communication Disorders, 63, 15-31.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., & Mirenda, P. (2016). Autism spectrum disorders in bilingual children.  In J. Patterson & B. Rodriguez (Eds.) Multilingual Perspectives on Child Language Disorders. Clevendon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

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]

Language development and disorders

Ignatova, D., Bernhardt, M., Marinova-Todd, S.H., & Stemberger, J., (2017, ).  Word-initial trill clusters in children with typical versus protracted phonological development: BulgarianClinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 32, 506-522.

*Pack, A., Colozzo, P., Bernhardt, B., *Radanov, B., *Rosebush, R., & Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2015).  A case study on vocal loudness with a young adult with autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay.  American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, 587-593.DOI: 10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0209.

Malabonga, V., & Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2007) Tagalog speech acquisition.  In Sharynne McLeod (Ed.), The International Guide to Speech Acquisition (p. 340-350).  Florence, KY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Recent Research Conference Presentations

Krenca, K, Cain, K., Marinova-Todd, S.H., & Chen, X. (2019). Comprehension Monitoring in emerging English-French bilingual children.  Society for the Scientific Studies of Reading (SSSR), Toronto, ON.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2018). Multilingualism in French Immersion in Canada: Factors explaining ultimate success.  Y. Uchikoshi & S. Marinova-Todd (Organizers). Symposium presentation at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), New York City, USA.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2017).  One size does not fit all: Bilingual development across linguistic domains and socio-cultural contexts. E. Hoff (Organizer), Symposium presentation at the International Association for the Study of Child Language (IASCL), Lyon, France.

*Bérubé, D., & Marinova-Todd, S.H., Uchikoshi, Y.(2017).  A longitudinal investigation of French and English reading comprehension in multilingual students enrolled in French immersion programs in Canada.  2017 Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), Halifax, NS.

Colozzo, P, Segers, E., Marinova-Todd, S.H., Kay-Raining Bird, E. (2015).  Bilingualism & children with special needs in North America & Europe: Context, access, & support, 2015 American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention, Denver, CO.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2014). Surveys of Administrators, Educators and Interventionists.  Paper presented at a symposium entitled “Bilingualism, context and children with special needs: Insights from an International Collaboration” (Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, Organizer).  2014 American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention, Oralndo, FL.

Recent Invited Conference Presentations

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2019). Keynote presenter on a panel on bilingualism.  The inaugural UBC Language Sciences Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Research Day. Vancouver, BC.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2019).  Where there’s a will, there’s a way:the role ofmotivation in learning languages.  Keynote Panellist at the Annual UBC Language Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference. Vancouver, BC.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2017).  Factors contributing to success in early and late French Immersion programs.  B. Xi Chen (Organizer), Invited symposium on French Immersion, Annual Learning Disabilities Conference, Montreal, Canada

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2016). Language Learning Roundtable: SLA for special populations.  European Second Language Acquisition Association (EuroSLA) 2016 Conference, Jyväskylä, Finland.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2016). Bilingualism and its advantages: Implications for clinical practice with children with language and/or intellectual delay. Keynote speaker at the Speech-language & Audiology Canada (SAC) 2016 Conference, Halifax, NS.

Marinova-Todd, S.H. (2014).  Language Development in bilingual children with ASD.  Invited symposium presented at the 2014 American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention, Oralndo, FL.

LING 270     Introduction to Studies in Second Language Acquisition
AUDI 585     Language Development Across the Lifespan