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Ana Taboada Barber

PhD, University of Maryland
Associate Professor
Literacy and Reading
PhD in Education and Human Development

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Taboada Barber

Phone: (703) 993-9182
Fax: (703) 993-3678

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
West Building 2003
4400 University Dr.
MS 6D2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Ana Taboada Barber, Ph.D, is a member of the education faculty at George Mason University. Dr. Taboad Barber's research focuses on the study of contexts that support reading engagement for English native speakers and language minority students or English learners (ELs). She is specifically interested in the psychology of literacy from a cognitive and motivational perspective. As such, Dr. Taboada Barber's work focuses on studying the influence of motivational variables, such as autonomy, self-efficacy and relevance on the literacy and language development of all learners, with a specific focus on ELs. She also studies the role that cognitive variables such as student-self generated questions and other comprehension strategies play on the reading comprehension and motivation of late elementary and middle-school learners.

In the past she worked on the development of the of reading engagement, or CORI (Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction) model as it applies to all learners (e.g., native-speakers of English and ELs) in the late elementary grades. More recently she has been working on the development of frameworks within the engagement model as they apply to language minority students in middle school. She is currently the Principal Investigator of an Institute of Education Sciences' (IES) Reading & Writing grant which explores motivation and comprehension processes in the reading of native English speakers and ELs in the domain of  American history. Her research has been published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Educational Research and Lectura y Vida: Latin American Journal of the International Reading Association. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, she obtained a Master's  in Educational Psychology at Temple University, Philadelphia, and a Bachelor's in School Psychology in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was also a classroom teacher in bilingual schools in Buenos Aires before coming to the United States as a Fulbright scholar.




Research Interests

Comprehension and motivation in classroom contexts for language minority students; reading engagement in content areas; cognitive and motivational processes in comprehension;students' text based questioning


Recent Publications

Taboada, A., Buehl, M. (in press). Relations among Grade 4 Students’ Perceptions of Autonomy, Engagement in Science, and Reading Motivation. Journal of Experimental Education.

Taboada, A., Townsend, D. & Boynton, M.J. (in press). Mediating effects of reading engagement on the reading comprehension of early adolescent English Language Learners. Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Reading Difficulties.

Taboada, A. (in press).Relationships of general vocabulary, academic vocabulary, and student questioning with reading comprehension in students with varying levels of English proficiency. Instructional Science. Online First™, 7 December 2011, DOI: 10.1007/s11251-011-9196-z

Taboada, A., Bianco, S., & Bowerman, V. (2012). Text-Based Questioning: A Comprehension Strategy to Build English Language Learners' Content Knowledge. Literacy Research & Instruction, 51 (2), 87-109.

Taboada, A., Buehl, M. (2012). Teachers’ conceptions of reading comprehension and motivation to read. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 18(1), 101-122.

Taboada, A. & Rutherford, V. (2011). Developing reading comprehension and academic vocabulary for English Language Learners through science content: A formative experiment. Reading Psychology, 32 (2) 113 - 157.

Taboada, A., Kidd, J.K., & Tonks, S. M. (2010). A qualitative look at English language learners’ perceptions of autonomy support in a literacy classroom.  Research in the Schools, 17, 39-53

Taboada, A. (2009). English language learners, vocabulary, and reading comprehension: What we know and what we need to know. Yearbook of the College Reading Association.

Taboada, A., Tonks, S.M., Wigfield, A. & Guthrie, J. (2009). Effects of motivational and cognitive variables on reading comprehension. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 22, 85-106.

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