Issue 3 progress report sharing the science contact us
Canadian Language & Literacy Research Network
clarity. The result of applying science to children's language and literacy development  

inspiring and supporting the next generation of researchers

family history: the oldest potential remedy?

There is an imperative need to attract bright, motivated young researchers like Marie-Eve Bouchard of Montreal to the science of language and literacy.

"In some fields, particularly speech and hearing, there is a real lack of doctoral candidates," says Dr. Alice Eriks-Brophy of the University of Toronto. "Yet without them, we won't be able to sustain Canada's long-term research capacity to impact new solutions."

Add to this the recognition that there are no overnight answers to overcoming language and literacy deficiencies – sustainable, evidence-based research is the only sure path to a brighter future. Bouchard and Eriks-Brophy prove the potential of attracting and developing highly qualified personnel.  

"When I was young, I saw two people signing to communicate – that was my first inspiration," says Bouchard. "Now I'm working with deaf children through my graduate studies in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University du Quebec in Montreal." Marie-Eve is focused primarily on Cochlear Implants and following children longitudinally (usually between the ages of two and nine years old) for four to five years to map their auditory and speech learning.

Bouchard first got involved with The Network when she was selected in 2002 to receive a summer research fellowship award worth $8,000. There were a total of 11 third-year undergraduate students who received funding from The Network that year. Bouchard was paired with Eriks-Brophy as her Network Supervisor.

"The Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network has provided the best possible experience by giving me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the consequences of hearing impairment," continues Bouchard. "I am more critical now, I ask better questions. In the past everything was black and white. Now I have a more adaptive approach. When there is room for doubt, there is room for improvement – and I learned this by working with Eriks-Brophy's team."

Eriks-Brophy is equally enthusiastic. "Marie-Eve is very bright and very motivated. She will make a real contribution in the world as she already has in her short time with the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network."

For example, Bouchard conducted clinician focus groups, produced extensive literature reviews of parental involvement in interventions and, as a result, developed a framework for parental involvement and a guide to explain intervention.

"We have to let students take a more active role. If we really want to promote interest, we have to let them in on the experience," concludes Eriks-Brophy. "Just having her here with us was an inspiration. We as researchers can learn a great deal from all that personal motivation and energy."

Bouchard couldn't agree more. "For students, it's important to be face-to-face with experts in the field – researchers of tomorrow are students today," says Bouchard. "By giving us contact, we are inspired to continue to learn, to be challenged and to find answers. This experience is the difference between theory and reality."

The Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network established its HQPC (Highly Qualified Personnel Committee) standards three years ago. These standards guarantee access to self-motivated, productive, passionate students like Marie-Eve Bouchard. For further information about the standards, the program and potential involvement, please contact: Katy Pocock at .


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