Department of Teaching & Learning
Ed.D., Vanderbilt University
6401 Airline Rd
Dr. Jill Allor is a University Distinguished Professor and former chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University. In 1996, she received her doctorate in special education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. A former special education teacher, her research is school-based and focuses on literacy acquisition for students with and without disabilities. She was awarded the 2000 Award for Outstanding Research by the Council on Learning Disabilities and is the co-recipient of the Best Article in Learning Disabilities Research and Practice for 1999. In 2012, the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council presented her with the Innovator Award for Outstanding Educator. After being nominated by her students, she received the Rotunda Outstanding Professor award at SMU in 2016. In 2019, she was awarded a Ford Research Fellowship from SMU. As principal/co-principal investigator, she has received nearly $10 million of external research funds, including a $3.3 million grant funded in 2020 by the Institute of Education Sciences to test the efficacy of the Friends on the Block literacy curriculum when provided to students with intensive needs. She has also received over $1 million to support teacher preparation and development in the area of literacy. In addition to publishing several early literacy programs for typical and struggling readers, as well as students with disabilities, she has also published over 40 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters. Throughout her career, she has presented widely at national professional meetings and has led numerous professional development workshops on a wide variety of literacy related topics, including peer tutoring, early literacy development, phonemic awareness instruction, literacy assessment, and early literacy text.
Currently, Dr. Allor is the principal investigator on the federally-funded research grant, Examining the Initial Efficacy of Friends on the Block: An Intensive Text-Based Early Literacy Intervention for Elementary Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (Project Intensity; R324A200151 from the Institute of Education Sciences). The purpose of Project Intensity is to conduct a randomized control trial (RCT) to evaluate the efficacy of a literacy intervention, Friends on the Block, designed to enhance reading and language outcomes for elementary students with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).
For more information about Project Intensity:
For more information about Friends on the Block early literacy curriculum:
Selected Articles and Book Chapters
Al Otaiba, S., Allor, J. H., & Stewart, J. (in press). Structured literacy interventions for phonemic awareness and basic word recognition skills. In L. Spear-Swerling (Ed.) Structured Literacy Interventions for Children with Reading Difficulties, NY, NY: Guilford.
Allor, J. H., Kearns, D., Ortiz, M., & Conner, C. (invited book chapter; in press). An examination of the text characteristics of an early reading book series: Providing intensive practice with connected text. In M. Tankersley, B. G. Cook, & T. J. Landrum (Eds.), Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (Vol. 31), Bingley, UK: Emerald.
Conner, C., Baker, D., & Allor, J. H. (in press). Language choice for linguistically diverse children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Bilingual Research Journal.
Allor, J. H., Yovanoff, P., Al Otaiba, S., Ortiz, M. B., & Conner, C. (2020). Evidence for a literacy intervention for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 55, 290-302.
Al Otaiba, S., Allor, J. H., Baker, K., Conner, C., Stewart, J., & de la Cruz, V. M. (2019). Teaching phonemic awareness and word reading skills: Focusing on explicit and systematic approaches. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 45, 11-16.
Al Otaiba, S., Baker, K., Lan, P., Allor, J. H., Rivas, B., Yovanoff, P. & Kamata, A. (2019). Elementary teacher’s knowledge of response to intervention implementation: A preliminary factor analysis. Annals of Dyslexia, 69, 34-53. doi: 10.1007/s11881-018-00171-5
Jones, G. F., Gifford, D. B., Yovanoff, P., Al Otaiba, S. Levy, D., & Allor, J. (2019). Alternate assessment formats for progress monitoring students with intellectual disabilities and below average intelligence quotients: An exploratory study. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 34(1), 41-51. doi:10.1177/1088357618762749
Lemons, C. J., Allor, J. H., Al Otaiba, S., LeJeune, L. M. (reprint in 2018; originally 2016). Ten research-based tips for enhancing literacy instruction for children and adolescents with intellectual disability. Teaching Exceptional Children, 50, 220-232.
Allor, J. H., Gifford, D. B., Jones, F. G., Al Otaiba, S., Yovanoff, P., Ortiz, M. B., & Cheatham, J. P. (2018). The effects of a text-centered literacy curriculum for students with intellectual disability. American Journal for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 123, 474-494. doi:10.1352/1944-7558-123.5.474
Lindo, E. J., Weiser, B., Cheatham, J. P., & Allor, J. H. (2017). Benefits of structured after-school literacy tutoring by university students for struggling elementary readers. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 34, 117-131. doi: 10.1080/10573569.2017.1357156
Allor, J. H. & Stokes, L. (2017) Measuring treatment fidelity with reliability and validity across a program of intervention research: Practical and theoretical considerations. In G. Roberts, S. Vaughn, S. N. Beretvas, & V. Wong (Eds.), Measuring and Modeling Treatment Fidelity in Studies of Educational Intervention, New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
Al Otaiba, S., Allor, J. H., Werfel, K.M. & Clemens, N. (2016) Critical components of phonemic awareness instruction and intervention: Recommendations for teacher training and for future research. To appear in R. Schiff & M. Joshi (Eds.) Interventions in Learning Disabilities: A Handbook on Systematic Training Programs for Individuals with Learning Disabilities. New York: Springer Science.
Al Otaiba, S., Allor, J. H., Ortiz, M., Greulich, L., Wanzek, J., & Torgesen, J. (2016). Tier 3 primary grade reading interventions: Can we distinguish necessary from sufficient? In S. R. Jimerson, M. K. Burns, & A. M. VanDerHeyden (Eds.), Handbook of response to intervention: The science and practice of multi-tiered systems of support (2nd ed.) (pp.389-406). New York: Springer Science.
Stokes, L., & Allor, J. H. (2016). A power analysis for fidelity measurement sample size determination.Psychological Methods, 21(1), 35-46. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/met000006
Cheatham, J. P. & Allor, J. H. (2014). How does independent practice of multiple-criteria text influence the reading performance and development of second graders? Learning Disability Quarterly, 37, 3-14. doi: 10.1177/0731948713494016
Allor, J. H., Mathes, P., Roberts, K., Cheatham, J. P., & Al Otaiba, S. (2014). Is scientifically-based reading instruction effective for students with Below-Average IQs? Exceptional Children.
Allor, J. H., Al Otaiba, S., Folsom, J., & Ortiz, M. (2014). Comprehensive Beginning Reading. To appear in D. M. Browder, & F. Spooner (Eds.), MORE Language Arts, Math, and Science for Students with Severe Disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
Al Otaiba, S., Allor, J., Ortiz, M., Greulich, L., Wanzek, J., & Torgesen, J. (2014). Tier 3 Primary Grade Reading Interventions: Can We Distinguish Necessary from Sufficient? To appear in M. K. Burns, & A. M. Van der Heyden (Eds.), The handbook of response to intervention: The science and practice of assessment and intervention, Second edition. New York, NY: Springer.
Allor, J. H., & Al Otaiba, S. (2013). Strategies for improving student outcomes in emergent reading: Advances in the field of early literacy instruction. In D. Chard, M. Tankersley, and B. Cook (Eds.), Effective Practices in Special Education (pp. 11-23). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Allor, J. H., Gifford, D. B., Al Otaiba, S., Miller, S. J., & Cheatham, J. P. (2013). Teaching students with intellectual disability to integrate reading skills: Effects of Text and Text-Based Lessons. Remedial and Special Education, 34, 346-356. doi: 10.1177/0741932513494020.
Cheatham, J. P. & Allor, J. H. (2013). How does independent practice of multiple-criteria text influence the reading performance and development of second graders? Learning Disability Quarterly, available online 7 August 2013. doi: 10.1177/0731948713494016
Cheatham, J. P. & Allor, J. H. (2012). The influence of decodability in early reading text on reading achievement: A review of the evidence. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 25, 2223-2246. doi: 10.1007/s11145-011-9355-2.
Allor, J. H., Al Otaiba, S., & Folsom, J. (2011). Literacy development and language acquisition. In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Education. Ed. Jim Guthrie and Patrick Schuermann. New York: Oxford University Press. http://www.oxfordbiliographiesonline.com.
Allor, J. H., & Chard, D. J. (2011). A comprehensive approach to improving reading fluency for students with disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, 43, 1-12.
Allor, J. H., Champlin, T. M., Gifford, D. B., & Mathes, P. G. (2010). Methods for increasing the intensity of reading instruction for students with intellectual disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 45, 500-511.
Allor, J. H., Mathes, P. G., Roberts, J. K., Cheatham, J. P, & Champlin, T. M. (2010). Comprehensive reading instruction for students with intellectual disabilities: Findings from the first three years of a longitudinal study. Psychology in the Schools, 47, 445-466.
Allor, J. H., Mathes, P. G., Jones, F. G., Champlin, T. M., & Cheatham, J. P. (2010). Individualized research-based reading instruction for students with intellectual disabilities. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 42, 6-12.
Allor, J. H., Mathes, P. G., Roberts, J. K., Jones, F. G., & Champlin, T. M. (2010). Teaching students with moderate intellectual disabilities to read: An experimental examination of a comprehensive reading intervention. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 45, 3-22.
Allor, J. H., Mathes, P. G., Champlin, T. M., & Cheatham, J. P. (2009). Research-based techniques for teaching early reading skills to students with intellectual disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 44, 356-366.
Benner, G. J., Nelson, J. R., Allor, J. H., Mooney, P., & Dai, T. (2008). Academic processing speed mediates the influence of both externalizing behavior and language skills on the academic skills of students with emotional disturbance. Journal of Behavioral Education, 17, 63-78.
Benner, G. J., Allor, J. H., & Mooney, P. (2008) An investigation of the academic processing speed of students with emotional and behavioral disorders served in public school settings. Education and Treatment of Children, 31,307-332.
Allor, J. H., Cheek, E., Smith, P., & Schorzmann, E. (2006). Considering tutors’ perspectives: Implications for struggling readers. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 22, 357-374.
Allor, J. H., Gansle, K. A., & Denny, R. K. (2006). The Stop and Go Game: The effects of modeling, practice, and feedback on phonemic awareness segmentation tasks. Preventing School Failure, 50, 23-30.
Allor, J. H., & McCathren, R. B. (2004). The efficacy of an early literacy tutoring program implemented by college students. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 19, 116-129.
Allor, J. H., & McCathren, R. B. (2003). Developing emergent literacy skills through storybook reading. Intervention in School and Clinic, 39 (2), 72-79.
Allor, J. H. (2002). The relationships of phonemic awareness and rapid naming to reading development. Learning Disability Quarterly. 25, 47-57. *2000 Award for Outstanding Research, The Council for Learning Disabilities. Presented at the International Conference on Learning Disabilities, October, 2000.
McCathren, R. B., & Allor, J. H. (2002). Using storybooks with preschool children: Enhancing language and literacy. Young Exceptional Children, 5(4), 3-10.
Allor, J. H., Fuchs, D., & Mathes, P. G. (2001). Do students with and without lexical retrieval weaknesses respond differently to instruction? Journal of Learning Disabilities, 34, 264-275.
Mathes, P. G., Torgesen, J. K., & Allor, J. H. (2001). The effects of Peer Assisted Learning Strategies for First Grade Readers with and without additional computer assisted instruction in phonological awareness. American Educational Research Journal, 38, 371-410.
Mathes, P. G., Grek, M. L., Howard, J. K., Babyak, A. E., & Allen, S. H. (1999). Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies for First-Grade Readers: A tool for preventing early reading failure. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 14(1), 50-60. *Winner of the Samuel Kirk Award (for the best research-to-practice article in Learning Disabilities Research and Practice for 1999), awarded by the Council for Exceptional Children, Division of Learning Disabilities.
Howard, J. K., Fuchs, D., & Mathes, P. G. (1999). What is lexical retrieval and why might it be important? In T.E. Citro (Ed.). Parenting the Child with a Learning Disability: The Experts Speak (pp. 77-82). Weston, MA: Learning Disabilities Association of Massachusetts. *Recipient of the 1999 Outstanding Proud Project by the Learning Disabilities Association of America.
Mathes, P. G., Howard, J. K., & Allen, S. H., & Fuchs, D. (1998). Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies for First-Grade Readers: Responding to the needs of diverse learners. Reading Research Quarterly, 33, 62-94.
Allor, J. H., Cheatham, J. & Al Otaiba, S. (2017-2020). Friends on the Block. Richardson, TX: www.FriendsOnTheBlock.com.
Baker, D. L., Allor, J., & Minden-Cupp, C. (2016). Bookshop Fonética Grado K. New York, NY: Mondo.
Baker, D. L., Allor, J., & Minden-Cupp, C. (2016). Bookshop Fonética Primer Grado. New York, NY: Mondo.
Allor, J.H., Mathes, P.G., & Jones, F.G. (2012). Early Interventions in Reading: Level K. Columbus, OH: SRA/McGraw-Hill.
Allor, J.H., & Minden-Cupp, C. (2009). Bookshop Phonics Intervention. New York, New York: Mondo.
Allor, J.H., & Minden-Cupp, C. (2007). Bookshop Phonics for Kindergarten. New York, New York: Mondo.
Allor, J.H., & Minden-Cupp, C. (2007). Bookshop Phonics for First Grade. New York, New York: Mondo.
Mathes, P.G., & Allor, J.H. (2001). Teacher-Directed PALS: Paths to Achieving Literacy Success. Longmont, CO: Sopris West.
Mathes, P.G., Torgesen, J.K., Allen, S.H., & Allor, J.H. (2001). First-Grade PALS: Peer-Assisted Literacy Strategies. Longmont, CO: Sopris West.