Doris Baker

Associate Professor


Department of Teaching & Learning


Ph.D., University of Oregon


6401 Airline Rd
Suite 301
Dallas, 75205


View CV


Associate Professor Doris Luft Santos Baker is the Director of the Master in Bilingual Education in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Dr. 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 with and without learning difficulties. Her research has been funded by agencies such as the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Oregon Child Development Coalition, the Knight Foundation and SMU’s research council among others. Currently, Dr. Baker is examining the promise of using technology to enhance the instruction for English learners particularly in their development of academic language in science, social studies, and mathematics. In addition, through partnerships with community organizations such as the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, the Dallas Morning News, and Avance, Dr. Baker is exploring ways that Hispanic Families can develop the language proficiency of their children in Spanish and in English.

Dr. Baker’s research has been published in Review of Research in Education (RRE) Centennial Volume, the Bilingual Research Journal, Exceptional Children, Learning Disabilities: Research and Practice, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Teaching Exceptional Children, Learning Disability Quarterly, Journal of School Psychology, and School Psychology Review, among others. In 2018, she published the book: Second Language Acquisition: Methods, Perspectives, and Challenges, and in 2016 she published Bookshop Fonética, a curriculum program designed to teach phonics in Spanish to kindergarten and first grade students in the U.S. Dr. Baker is also the senior author of a formative assessment in Spanish for students in grades K-3 titled: Indicadores Dinámicos del Exito en la Lectura (IDEL).

In 2019, Dr. Baker received a Fulbright to conduct research and teach in Chile in the spring of 2020. She also received the 2019 American Education Research Association, SIG Division of Technology, Instruction, Cognition, and Learning award for her international collaboration with researchers in Finland, and the 2019 Kirk Award from the Division of Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children for a research publication in Learning Disabilities, Research and Practice. In 2008, she received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Reading Association among others.

Dr. Baker received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon in 2007. 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. She received the Instructor of the Year award in 2002. She has also provided professional development and consultation to parents, teachers, and researchers in the United States, and in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Finland, and Qatar. Dr. Baker was born in Brazil, and grew up in Colombia and Mexico. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and German.

Selected Publications

Baker, D. L., Azcarraga, M., Pomes, M.P., Smolkowski, K., & Lepe, N. (2019). Exploring the effects of an explicit Spanish vocabulary intervention to teach words in depth to second grade students in Chile. Reading and Writing Quarterly.

Baker, D. L., Basaraba, D., & Richards-Tutor, C. (Eds., 2018). Second Language Acquisition. Methods, Perspectives, and Challenges. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Baker, D. L. (May, 2018). Three-minute video on my Institute of Education Sciences funded project titled: English Language Vocabulary Acquisition at

Coyne, M. D., McCoach, D. B., Ware, S., Austin, C., Loftus, S., & Baker, D. L. (2018). Racing against the vocabulary gap: Matthew effects in early vocabulary instruction and intervention. Exceptional Children.

Hautala, J., Baker, D. L., Keurulainen, A., Ronimus, M., Richardson, U., & Cole, R. (2018). Improving Early Science learning through Multimedia Explanations and Feedback on Spoken Questions with a Virtual Tutor. Educational Technology Research and Development.

Crespo, P., Jiménez, J., Rodríguez, C., Baker, D. L., Park, Y. (2018). Differences in growth reading patterns for at-risk Spanish-monolingual children as a function of a tier 2 intervention. The Spanish Journal of Psychology.

Baker, D. L., Basaraba, D., Smolkowski, K., Conry, J.s, Hautala, J., Richardson, U., English, S., & Cole, R. (2017). Exploring the cross-linguistic transfer of reading skills in Spanish to English in the context of a computer adaptive reading intervention. Bilingual Research Journal. DOI: 10.1080/15235882.2017.1309719

Baker, D. L., Basaraba, D., Polanco, PS. (2016). Connecting the present to the past: Furthering the research on bilingualism and bilingual education. Review of Research in Education Centennial Volume (40), 821-883. DOI: 10.3102/0091732X16660691

Baker, D. L., Mogna, VS., Rodriguez, S.S, Farmer, D. & Yovanoff, P. (2016). Building the oral language of young Hispanic Children through interactive read alouds and vocabulary games in preschool and at home. Journal of International Special Needs Education, 19(2), 81-94.

Richards-Tutor, C., Baker, D. L., Gersten, R., Baker, S., & Smith, J.M. (2015). The effectiveness of reading interventions for English Learners: A research synthesis of studies published since 2000. Exceptional Children, 1-26. DOI: 10.1177/00 I 4402915585483

Baker, D. L., Santoro, L., Ware, S., Cuellar, D., Oldham, A., Cuticelli, M, Coyne, M., Loftus-Rathan, S., & McCoach, B. (2015). Understanding and Implementing the Common Core Vocabulary Standards in Kindergarten. Teaching Exceptional Children 47(5), 264-271. DOI: 10.1177/0040059915580028

Baker, D. L., Biancarosa, G., Park, B. J.S, Bousselot, T., Smith, J., Baker, S. K., Kame'enui, E. J., Alonzo, J., & Tindal, G. (2015). 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 28, 57-104. DOI: 10.1007/s11145-014-9505-4

Cena, J.S, Baker, D. L., Kame’enui, E. J., Baker, S. K., Park, Y., & Smolkowski, K. (2013). The impact of a systematic and explicit vocabulary intervention in Spanish with Spanish-speak¬≠ing English learners in first grade. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 6, 1289-1316. DOI: 10.1007/s11145-012-9419-y

Baker, D. L., Park, Y., Baker, S. K., Basaraba, D., Kame’enui, E., & Beck, C. (2012). Effects of a paired bilingual reading program on the reading performance of English learners in grades 1-3. Journal of School Psychology, 50(6), 737-758.

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-grade English language learners. School Psychology Review, 40(3), 331–351.

Jiménez, J. E., Baker, D. L., Rodriguez, C., Crespo, PS., Artiles, C, & Alfonso, M. (2011). Evaluación del progreso de aprendizaje en lectura dentro de un modelo de Respuesta a la Intervención (RTI) en la comunidad autónoma de Canarias [Evaluation of the reading growth within a Response to Intervention model in the autonomous community of the Canary islands in Spain]. Escritos de Psicología, 4(2), 11–19. DOI:10.5231/psy.writ.2011.1207

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.

S = Manuscripts written with graduate students