Faculty Profiles

Dr. Sara Smith

Assistant Professor, ESOL and Foreign Language Education

Sara Smith, Ph.D.

Email: sarasmith3@usf.edu
Phone: (813) 974-3533
Office Location: USF Tampa campus, EDU 302-H
Personal Website

Sara A. Smith received her Doctorate in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, followed by postdoctoral research in the Brain.Experience.Education Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017, she joined the University of South Florida as an Assistant Professor in ESOL and Foreign Language Education and Faculty in the Technology in Education and Second Language Acquisition (TESLA) doctoral program.

The broad aim of her research program is to gain a better understanding of the diversity of language experience and how linguistic diversity relates to language, cognition, speech, and literacy and academic achievement. Her research interests include: differences related to the individual and the language environment; vocabulary, literacy/biliteracy, and achievement outcomes; and technology enhanced language learning, including digital environments and immersive virtual environments.

Dr. Smith is the creator of the Multimedia Augmented Reality Vocabulary Learning (MARVL) application, an augmented reality (AR) application that uses technology and research-based best practices to support learning vocabulary in a new language. The MARVL project has received a Bull Ring Accelerator Grant from the USF Foundation, funding from the NSF I-Corps program, was a finalist for the 2020 Cade Prize, and was one of 13 women-led technology startups selected for the Tampa Bay Wave’s 2020 TechWomen Rising Accelerator. Dr. Smith was awarded a USF Excellence in Innovation Award in 2021, was featured in Florida Trend Magazine, and in the Radio Cade episode "A Better Way to Learn New Languages." To learn more about MARVL, visit marvllanguage.com.

Dr. Smith is available for doctoral student advising.

Active Research Projects

Smith, S. A. (Principal Investigator), Osborn, T. (Co-I), Walker-Egea, C. (Co-I). (2022-2027, T365Z220078). Project Parasol: ESOL Paraprofessional to Teacher Pipeline. ($2,061,703). National Professional Development Program, Office of English Language Acquisition.

Smith, S.A. (Principal Investigator). (2021-2022; 2114933) Multimedia Augmented Reality Vocabulary Instruction. ($50,000). National Science Foundation Innovation Corps.

Carlo, M. (Principal Investigator), Smith, S.A. (Co-Principal Investigator), Williams, J. (Co-Investigator), Anthony, J. (Co-Investigator). (2020-2024; R305A200047). Effect of Bilingual vs. Monolingual Methods of Explicit English Vocabulary Instruction on 4th grade Spanish-Speaking English Learners (ELs). ($1,400,000). Institute of Education Sciences. 

Smith, S. A. (Principal Investigator). (2020-2021). Multimedia Augmented Reality Vocabulary Learning (MARVL). ($25,000). University of South Florida Foundation, Bull Ring Accelerator Grant.

Selected Publications

Choo, A.L., Smith, S., & Seitz, S. (accepted). The Relationship between Working Memory, Inhibitory Control and Disfluencies in Typically Fluent Bilinguals. Journal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech.

Foster, M. E., Choo, A. L., Smith, S. (2023). Relations Between Speech-Language Disorder Severity, Academic Success, and Socioemotional Functioning Among Multilingual and English Monolingual Children in the United States: The National Survey of Children’s Health. Frontiers in Psychology, 14. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1096145

Smith, S., Carlo, M., Park., S. & Kaplan, H. (2023). Exploring the promise of Augmented Reality for dual language vocabulary learning among bilingual children: a case study. CALICO Journal, 40(1), 91-112. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.22757

Fung, K., Smith, S., & Gandolfi, E. (2022). Minecraft Education Edition in foreign language education: Pre-service teachers’ reasons for acceptance and integration. The Journal of Language Teaching, 2(10), 17-28. doi: 10.54475/jlt.2022.013 

Foster, M. E., Smith, S., & Spenser, T. (2022). Science achievement and individual differences during elementary school. Cognitive Development, 63. doi: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2022.101223. 

Choo, A.L., Smith, S., & Li, H. (2022). Predictors of speech disorders and recovery: Findings from the National Survey of Children’s Health. Journal of Bilingual and Monolingual Speech, 4(1), 109-126. doi:10.1558/jmbs.20879

Smith, S. (2021). Exploring knowledge of transparent and non-transparent multi word phrases among L2 English learners living in an Anglophone setting. System, 101. doi:10.1016/j.system.2021.102590

Smith, S., Choo, A. L., & Seitz, S. (2021). Disfluencies in English Speech Produced by Spanish–English Bilinguals. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica. doi:10.1159/000518138

Woodhead, E., Froelich, J., Spink, K., Smith, S., & Chin-Newman, C., (2021). Age and disclosure of medical, mental health, and learning differences to faculty. The Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. doi:10.1080/19496591.2021.1902818

Smith, S., Choo, A. L., & Foster, M. E. (2021). Latent class analysis reveals distinct groups based on executive function and socioemotional traits, developmental conditions, and stuttering: a population study. Child Psychiatry and Human Development. doi:10.1007/s10578-021-01160-3 

Smith, S., Leon Guerrero, S., Surrain, S., & Luk, G. (2021). Phonetic discrimination, phonological awareness, and pre-literacy skills in Spanish-English dual language preschoolers. Journal of Child Language. doi:10.1017/S0305000920000768 

Seitz, S., & Smith, S. (2021). Talking the talk: Considering forced language switching in the workplace. Human Resource Management Review. doi:10.1016/j.hrmr.2021.100833 

Choo, A.L., Smith, S., & Li, H. (2020). Associations between stuttering, comorbid conditions, and executive function in children: A population study. BMC Psychology, 8(113). doi:10.1186/s40359-020-00481-7

Smith, S., Foster, M. E., Briggs Baffoe-Djan, J., Li, Z., & Sun, Y. (2020). Unifying the Current Self, Ideal Self, Attributions, Self-Authenticity, and Intended Effort: a partial replication study among Chinese University English Learners. System. doi: 10.1016/j.system.2020.102377

Smith, S., Seitz, S., Koutnik, K. H., McKenna, M., & Garcia, J. N. (2020). The “work” of being a bilingual: Exploring impacts of forced language switching on language production at the utterance level and stress among Spanish-English bilinguals. Applied Psycholinguistics, 41(3), 701-725. doi: 10.1017/S0142716420000259 

Smith, S., & Li, Z. (2020). Closing the enjoyment gap: Heritage language maintenance motivation and reading attitudes among Chinese-American children. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. doi: 10.1080/13670050.2020.1742653

Woodhead, E., Chin-Newman, C., Spink, K., Hoang, M., & Smith, S. (2020). College students’ disclosure of mental health conditions on campus. Journal of American College Health. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2019.1706533

Choo, A. L., & Smith, S. (2019). Bilingual children who stutter: Convergence, gaps, and directions for research. Journal of Fluency Disorders. doi:10.1016/j.jfludis.2019.105741

Smith, S., & Briggs Baffoe-Djan, J. (2019). It takes two to make a thing go write: Self-reported Spanish reading and writing skill and relationships with digit span and stroop task performance among Spanish-English bilinguals. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. doi: 10.1080/13670050.2019.1667949
Smith, S., Woodhead, E., & Chin-Newman, C. (2019). Satisfaction among higher education students with disabilities: Measuring accommodation use and experiences disclosing to faculty, staff and peers. International Journal of Inclusive Education. doi: 10.1080/13603116.2019.1610087

Smith, S., Briggs, J., Pothier, H., & Garcia, J. (2019). Mental workouts for couch potatoes: Executive function variation among Spanish-English bilingual young adults. Applied Linguistics, 40(3), 413–431. doi: 10.1093/applin/amx038

Kain, S. Chin-Newman, C., & Smith, S. (2019). ‘It's All in your Head’: The Experience of Navigating the University Environment for Students with Psychiatric Disability. Journal of Post-Secondary Education and Disability, 32(4), 411-425.

Briggs Baffoe-Djan, J., Smith, S. (2019). Descriptive Statistics for Data Analysis. The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Applied Linguistics. J. McKinley & H. Rose (Eds.). Routledge: London.

Smith, S., Briggs, J., & Pothier, H. (2018). Exploring variation in reading comprehension among young adult Spanish-English bilinguals: The role of environmental language contact and attitudes toward reading. International Journal of Bilingualism, 22(6), 695-716. doi: 10.1177/1367006917690913

Briggs, J., & Smith, S. (2017). English Medium Instruction and Idiomaticity in English as a Lingua Franca. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 5(3), 27-44.

Langer, N., Peysakhovich, B., Zuk, J., Drottar, M., Sliva, D., Smith, S., Becker, B., Grant, P. E., & Gaab, N. (2017). White matter alterations in infants at risk for developmental dyslexia. Cerebral Cortex, 27(2), 1027-1036. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhv281

Raschle, N., Becker, B., Smith, S., Fehlbaum, L., Wang, Y., & Gaab, N. (2017). Investigating the influences of early language delay and/or familial risk for dyslexia on brain structure in pre-school and kindergarten children. Cerebral Cortex, 27(1), 764-776. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhv267

Seitz, S., Smith, S. (2016). Working toward neurodiversity: How organizations and leaders can accommodate for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Business and Management, 22(1), 135-152.

Leon Guerrero, S., Smith, S., Luk, G. (2016). Home language usage and cognitive control in bilingual preschoolers. The cognitive control and consequences of multiple languages in one mind: Bilingual Processing and Acquisition. J. Schwieter (Ed.). John Benjamins: Philadelphia.

Smith, S. (2016). Reading between the lines: Exploring relationships between multi-word vocabulary, transparency and literacy. Advancing the Field of Language Assessment: Papers from TIRF Doctoral Dissertation Grantees 2009 – 2013. M. Christison and N. Saville (Eds.). Cambridge Language Assessment: Cambridge.

Smith, S., Murphy, V. A. (2015). Measuring productive elements of multi-word phrase vocabulary knowledge among children with English as an additional or only language. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 28(3), 347-369. doi: 10.1007/s11145-014-9527-y

Im, K., Raschle, N., Smith, S., Grant, P. E., Gaab, N. (2016). Atypical sulcal patterns in parietal region in children with a familial risk for developmental dyslexia. Cerebral Cortex, 26(3), 1138-1148. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhu305

Raschle, N., Smith, S., Zuk, J., Figuccio, M., Gaab, N. (2014). Investigating the neural correlates of voice or content directed information within human speech in pre-school children. PLoS one, 9(12), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115549