Department of Teaching & Learning


Doris Baker

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Oregon
6401 Airline Rd
Suite 301
Dallas, 75205
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Assistant Professor Doris Luft Santos Baker is engaged in developing and evaluating instructional tools and assessments in English and in Spanish designed to improve and monitor the academic performance of English learners. Dr. Baker’s research has been funded by agencies such as the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the University of Oregon, and the Oregon Child Development Coalition, among others. Currently, Dr. Baker is the PI on the project English Learner Vocabulary Acquisition (ELVA), and a Co-PI on the Early Vocabulary Instruction and Intervention (EVI) efficacy study. Both projects are funded by IES. She is also the PI on a project designed to train Hispanic mothers to use social media to transmit information and learn more about how to get their children ready for kindergarten. The project is funded by the Knight Foundation to the Dallas Morning News with a subcontract to SMU.

Dr. Baker received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon. She holds an M.S. in Latin American Studies from San Diego State University and a B.S. in Psychology from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Baker was a Spanish instructor at the University of Oregon where she taught all Spanish language courses. She received the Instructor of the Year award in 2002 for the development of an internship that built a connection between the University of Oregon and the Latino community, and for the creation of a Spanish language course that involved middle school Hispanic students in higher education. Currently, Dr. Baker is the chair of the Masters in Bilingual Education, and the Masters of English as a Second Language at SMU. 

Dr. Baker is the main author of a formative assessment in Span­ish for students in grades K-3 titled: Indicadores Dinámicos del Exito en la Lectura (IDEL), and she has developed several interventions, including a read-aloud enhancement for English Learners in first grade. She has also provided professional development and consultation to parents, teachers, and researchers in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Finland, and Qatar. Her work has been published in the Journal of School Psychology, School Psychology Review, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Psicothema, Exceptional Children, and Focus on Exceptional Children, among others. She was the lead author on a 2011 article of the year honorable mention from School Psychology Review for the study, Effects of Reading Comprehension on Passage Fluency in Spanish and English for Second Grade English Learners. Dr. Baker was born in Brazil, and grew up in Colombia and Mexico. She is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and German.

Selected Publications

Richards-Tutor, C., Baker, D.L., Gersten, R., Baker, S., & Smith, J.M. (in press). The effectiveness of reading interventions for English Learners: A research synthesis of studies published since 2000.  Exceptional Children.

Baker, D. L, Biancarosa, G., Park, B. J., Bousselot, T., Smith, J., Baker, S. K., Kame'enui, E. J., Alonzo, J., & Tindal, G. (in press). Validity of CBM measures of oral reading fluency and reading comprehension on high-stakes reading assessments in grades 7 and 8. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Baker, D.L., Al Otaiba, S., Ortiz, M., Correa, V., & Cole, R. (2014). Vocabulary development and intervention for English Language Learners in the early grades. In J. Benson (Ed.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior, vol. 46, San Diego, CA: Elsevier.

Cena, J., Baker, D. L., Kame’enui, E. J., Baker, S. K., & Park, Y. (2013). The impact of a systematic and explicit vocabulary intervention in Spanish with Spanish-speak­ing English learners in first grade. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. DOI: 10.1007/s11145-012-9419-y.

Baker, D. L., Park, Y., Baker, S. K., & Basaraba, D. (2012). Effects of a paired bilingual reading program on the reading performance of English learners in grades 1-3. Journal of School Psychology. Advanced online publication. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2012.09.002

Baker, D. L., Park, Y., & Baker, S. K. (2012). The reading performance of English learners in grades 1 to 3: The role of initial status and growth on reading fluency in Spanish and English. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 25, 251–281, DOI: 10.1007/s11145-010-9261-z.

Baker, D. L., Stoolmiller, M., Good, R. H., & Baker, S. K. (2011). Effects of reading comprehension on passage fluency in Spanish and English for second-language learners. School Psychology Review, 40(3), 331–351. - Named by NASP Article of the Year 2011.

Baker, D. L., Park, Y., & Baker, S. K. (2010). Effects of initial status and growth in pseudoword reading on Spanish reading comprehension at the end of first grade. Psicothema, 22, 955–962.

Baker, D. L., Ketterlin-Geller, L. (2010, December/January). Conceptualizing a schoolwide bilingual literacy model: Closing the achievement gap through systematic formative assessment. NABE News 32(2), 6–9.

Baker, S. K., Fien, H., & Baker, D. L. (2010). Robust reading instruction in the early grades: Conceptual and practical issues in the integration and evaluation of tier 1 and tier 2 instructional supports. Focus on Exceptional Children, 42(9), 1–20.

Smith, J. L. M., Baker, D. L.. & Santoro, L. E. (2009, January/February). Early intervention in bilingual education: Teaching phonological awareness in Spanish. NABE News, 31(2), 5–6, 9–14, 27–28.

Baker, S. K., & Baker, D. L. (2008). English learners and response to intervention: Improving quality of instruction in general and special education. In E. L. Grigorenko (Ed.), Educating individuals with disabilities: IDEA 2004 and beyond (pp. 249–273). New York: Springer.

Baker, D. L. (2008). Interpreting the process of becoming biliterate: Analyzing the relation between oral reading fluency and comprehension for Spanish-speaking students learning to read in English and Spanish. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller.

Baker, D. L., Good, R. H., Knutson, N., & Watson, J. M. (Eds.). (2006). Indicadores dinámicos del éxito en la lectura (7th Ed.). Eugene, OR: Dynamic Measurement Group. Retrieved from