Department of Teaching & Learning
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University6401 Airline RdSuite 301Dallas, 75205214-768-1339Send an email
Stephanie Al Otaiba, Ph.D. joined Southern Methodist University in January 2012 as Professor of Teaching and Learning in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development. She was named the Patsy and Ray Caldwell Centennial Chair in Teaching and Learning in 2014. Previously, she was an Associate Professor at the Florida State University (FSU) and was on faculty at the Florida Center for Reading Research. She received her Ph.D. in 2000 in Human Development from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and prior to that, she was a special educator for over a decade in the United Arab Emirates. She enjoys teaching graduate courses in literacy, special education, assessment, response to intervention and mentoring doctoral students.
Dr. Al Otaiba's research interests include school-based literacy interventions, response to intervention, learning disabilities, diverse learners, and teacher training. She has published over 120 journal articles and book chapters related to these interests. She has also developed reading curricular materials. Her line of research has been supported by several federally funded grants from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, the Office of Special Education Programs, and from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Click here to learn more about her current projects.
Her dissertation was awarded the 2001 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Reading Association and in 2010 she was the recipient of The Council for Exceptional Children Division for Research Distinguished Early Career Research Award. She also received the Developing Scholar Award and the Graduate Faculty Mentor Award at FSU in 2010. She teaches graduate courses in the Reading and Writing and Special Education programs. In 2017, she received the Distinguished Career Award from the Special Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. In addition, SMU awarded her with a Ford Senior Research Fellowship.
Dr. Al Otaiba has served on review panels for grants for the Institute of Education Science and has reviewed for the Office of Special Education Programs. She is the current President of the Division for Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Learning Disabilities. Previously, she served as an Associate Editor of Education Researcher and the Elementary School Journal and also serves on numerous editorial boards for scholarly journals in the field of education. Dr. Al Otaiba has consulted nationally and internationally related to early literacy intervention and assessment.
Al Otaiba, S., Petscher, Y., Wanzek, J., Lan, P., & Rivas, B. (2018). Intensive intervention for fourth graders with poor comprehension. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 33, 156-167.
Al Otaiba, S., Rouse, A. G., & Baker, K. (2018). Elementary grade intervention approaches to treat specific learning disabilities, including dyslexia. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(4), 829–842. doi.org/10.1044/2018
Connor, C. M., Phillips, B., Kim, Y.-S., Lonigan, C. J., Kaschak, M. P., Crowe, E. C., Dombek, J., Al Otaiba, S. (2018). Examining the efficacy of targeted component interventions on language and literacy for third and fourth graders’ who are at risk of comprehension difficulties. Scientific Studies of Reading, 22(6), 462-484
Daucourt, M.C., Schatschneider, C., Connor, C.M., Al Otaiba, S., Hart, S.A. (2018). Inhibition, updating working memory, and shifting predict reading disability symptoms in a hybrid model: Project KIDS. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:238. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00238.
Kim, Y.-S. G., Gatlin, B., Al Otaiba, S., & Wanzek, J. (2018). Theorization and an empirical investigation of the component-based and developmental text writing fluency construct. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 51(4), 320–335. doi:10.1177/0022219417712016
Kim, Y-S.G., Petscher, Y., Wanzek, J., Al Otaiba, S. (2018). Relations between reading and writing: a longitudinal examination from grades 3 to 6. Manuscript accepted for publication in Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 31(7), 1591-1618.
Lemons, C., King, S., Davidson, K., Puranik, C., Al Otaiba, S., & Fidler, D. (2018). Personalized reading intervention for children with Down syndrome. Journal of School Psychology, 66, 67–84. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2017.07.006
Parker, D., Burns, M., McMaster, K., Al Otaiba, S., & Medhanie, A. (2018). Examining the relations between instructional-level data and intervention response in early writing. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 43(3), 157–168. doi:10.1177/1534508417731999
Puranik, C., Petscher, Y., Al Otaiba, S., & Lemons, C. (2018). Improving kindergarten students’ writing outcomes using peer-assisted strategies. The Elementary School Journal, 118(4), 680–710. doi:10.1086/697432
Kim, Y-S. G., Schatschneider, C., Wanzek, J., Gatlin, B., Al Otaiba, S. (2017). Writing evaluation: Rater and task effects on the reliability of writing scores for children in Grades 3 and 4. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 30(6), 1287-1310.
Petscher, Y., Al Otaiba, S., Wanzek, J., Rivas. B., & Jones, F. (2017) The relation between global and specific mindset with reading outcomes for elementary school students, Scientific Studies of Reading, 21:5, 376-391, doi:10.1080/10888438.2017.1313846
Puranik, C. S, Patchan, M., Lemons, C., & Al Otaiba, S. (2017). Using peer assisted strategies to teach early writing: Results of a pilot study to examine feasibility and promise. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 30, 25-50. doi:10.1007/s11145-016-9661-9
Wanzek, J., Petscher, Y., Al Otaiba.S., Rivas, B., Jones, F. J., Kent, S., Schatchneider, C., Mehta, P. (2017). Effects of a year long supplemental reading intervention for students with reading difficulties in fourth grade. Journal of Educational Psychology, 109(8), 1103-1119.
Al Otaiba, S. (2016). Effective early reading instruction: Aligning Standards, Curriculum, and Assessment. The Journal of Adventist Education, 78 (2), 14-19.
Al Otaiba, S., Folsom, J.S., Wanzek, J., Greulich, L., Wasche, J., Schatschneider, C., & Connor, C. M. (2016). Professional development to differentiate kindergarten Tier 1 instruction: Can already effective teachers improve student outcomes by differentiating Tier 1 instruction? Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 32, 454-476. doi:10.1080/10573569.2015.1021060
Al Otaiba, S., Lake, V. E., Scarborough, K., Allor, J., & Carreker, S. (2016). Preparing beginning reading teachers for K-3: Teacher preparation in higher education. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 42(4), 25-33.
Ciulo, S., Ortiz, M., Al Otaiba, S. & Lane, K. (2016). Advanced reading comprehension expectations in secondary school: Considerations for students with emotional or behavior disorders. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 27(1), 54-64. doi:10.1177/1044207315604365
Dombeck, J. & Al Otaiba, S. (2016). Curriculum-Based Measurement for beginning writers (K-2). Intervention School and Clinic, 51(5), 276-283 doi:10.1177/1053451215606691
Gatlin, B., Wanzek, J., & Al Otaiba, S. (2016). An examination of kindergarten oral language for African American students: Are there meaningful differences in comparison to peers? Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 32(5), 477-498. doi:10.1080/10573569.2015.1039737
Kent, S., Wanzek, J. & Al Otaiba, S. (2016) Reading instruction for fourth-grade struggling readers and the relation to student outcomes. Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 33(5), 395-411. doi:10.1080/10573569.2016.1216342
Lee, J. & Al Otaiba, S. (2016). End of Kindergarten spelling outcomes: how can spelling error analysis data inform beginning reading instruction? Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 33(3), 226-238. doi:10.1080/10573569.2016.1165639
Lemons, C. J., Allor, J., Al Otaiba, S., & LeJeune, L.M. (2016). Ten research-based tips for enhancing literacy instruction for children and adolescents with intellectual disability. Teaching Exceptional Children, 49(1), 18-30. doi:10.1177/0040059916662202
Lemons, C.J., Al Otaiba, S., Conway, S.J., & Mellado De La Cruz, V. (2016). Improving professional development to enhance reading outcomes for students in special education. In B. Foorman (Ed.), Challenges and Solutions to Implementing Effective Reading Intervention in Schools. New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development, 154, 87-104.
Wanzek, J., Gatlin, B., Al Otaiba, S. & Kim, Y.-S. (2016). The impact of transcription writing interventions for first-grade students. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 33(5), 484-499. doi:10.1080/10573569.2016.1250142
Wanzek, J., Petscher, Y., Al Otaiba, S., Kent, S. C., Schatchneider, C., Haynes, M., Rivas, B., & Jones, F. (2016). Examining the average and local effects of a standardized treatment for fourth graders with reading difficulties. Manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness. doi:10.1080/19345747.2015.1116032
Kim, Y.-S., Al Otaiba, S., & Wanzek, J. (2015). Kindergarten predictors of third grade writing. Learning and Individual Differences, 37, 27-37. DOI:10.1016/j.lindif.2014.11.009
Kim, Y.-S., Al Otaiba, S., Wanzek, J., & Gatlin, B. (2015). Towards an understanding of dimension, predictors, and gender gaps in written composition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101 (1), 79-95. DOI.org/10.1037/a0037210
Kim, Y.-S., Puranik, C., & Al Otaiba, S. (2015). Developmental trajectories of writing skills in first grade: Examining the effects of SES and language and/or speech impairments. The Elementary School Journal, 115 (5), 593- 613. DOI: 10.1086/681971
Lee, J. & Al Otaiba, S. (2015). Socioeconomic and gender group differences in early literacy skills: A multiple group confirmatory factor analysis approach. Educational Research and Evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice, 21(1), 40-59. DOI: 10.1080/13803611.2015.1010545
Lemons, C.J., King, S. A., Davidson, K. A., Puranik, C. S., Fulmer, D., Al Otaiba, S., & Fidler, D. J. (2015). Adapting phonological awareness interventions for children with Down syndrome based on the behavioral phenotype: A promising approach? American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 53(4) 271-288. doi:10.1352/1934-9556-53.4.271
Lemons, C.J., King, S.A., Davidson, K.A., Puranik, C.S., Al Otaiba, S., Fulmer, D., Mrachko, A.A., Partanen, J., & Fidler, D.J. (2015). Developing an early reading intervention aligned with the Down syndrome behavioral phenotype. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 32(3), 176-187.
Al Otaiba, S., Connor, C. M., Folsom, J. S., Wanzek, J., Greulich, L., Schatschneider, C., Wagner, R. K. (2014). To wait in tier 1 or intervene immediately: A randomized experiment examining first grade response to intervention (RTI) in reading. Exceptional Children, 81(1) 11-27. doi:10.1177/0014402914532234.
Al Otaiba, S., Kim, Y.S., Wanzek, J., Petscher, Y., & Wagner, R. K. (2014). Effects of two models of first grade multi-tier intervention: Examining second and third grade outcomes and comparing outcomes based on first grade response status. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 7(3), 250-267. doi:10.1080/19345747.2014.906692
Al Otaiba, S., Wagner, R. K., Miller, B. (2014). Waiting to fail redux: Understanding response to intervention. Learning Disability Quarterly, 37 (3), 129-133. doi:10.1177/0731948714525622.
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, 80, 289-308. doi:10.1177/0014402914522208.
Connor, C. M., Phillips, B. M., Kaschack, M. Apel, K., Kim, Y-S., Al Otaiba, S., Crowe, E. C., Thomas-Tate, S., Cooper-Johnson, L., & Lonigan, C. J. (2014). Comprehension tools for teachers: Reading forUnderstanding from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. Educational Psychology Review. 26 (3), 379-401. doi:10.1007/s1064801492671.
Greulich, L. Al Otaiba, S., Schatschneider,C., Wanzek, J., Ortiz, M., & Wagner, R.K. (2014). Understanding inadequate response to first grade multi-tier intervention: Nomothetic and idiographic perspectives.Learning Disability Quarterly, 37, 204-217. doi:10.1177/0731948714526999
Kent, S., Wanzek, J., Petscher, Y., Al Otaiba, S. & Kim, Y-S. (2014). Writing fluency and quality in kindergarten and first grade: The role of attention, reading, transcription, and oral language. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 27, 1163-1188. doi:10.1007/s11145-013-9480-1
Kim, Y.-S., Al Otaiba, S., Puranik, C., Folsom, J. S., & Gruelich, L. (2014). The contributions of vocabulary and letter writing automaticity to word reading and spelling for kindergartners. Reading and Writing:An Interdisciplinary Journal, 27(2), 237–253. doi:10.1007/s11145-013-9440-9
Kim, Y.-S., Al Otaiba, S., Gruelich, L., Folsom, J. S., & Puranik, C. (2014). Evaluating the dimensionality of first grade writing composition. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57, 199-211. doi:10.1044/1092-4388.
Puranik, C., Al Otaiba, S., Folsom, J., & Greulich, L. (2014). Exploring the amount and type of writing instruction during language arts instruction in kindergarten classrooms. Reading and Writing: AnInterdisciplinary Journal, 27(2), 213–236. doi:10.1007/s11145-013-9441-8
Wanzek. J., Al Otaiba, S., & Roberts, G. (2014). Academic responding during instruction and reading outcomes for kindergarten students at-risk for reading difficulties. Reading and Writing 27(1), 55-78.
Wanzek. J., Roberts, G., Al Otaiba, S., Kent, S. C. (2014). The relationship of print reading in Tier I Instruction and reading achievement for kindergarten students at-risk for reading difficulties. LearningDisabilities Quarterly, 31(3) 148-160. doi:10.1177/0731948713518334.
Kim, Y-S., Apel, K., Al Otaiba, S. (2013). The relation of linguistic awareness and vocabulary to word reading and spelling for first grade students participating in Response to Intervention. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in School, (44), 337-347.
Kim, Y-S., Al Otaiba, S., Folsom, J., Greulich, L., & Puranik,C. (2013). Language, literacy, and attentional behaviors, and instructional quality predictors of written composition for first graders. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28, 461– 469.
Allor, J., Al Otaiba, S., sOrtiz, M, & sFolsom, J. (2014). Comprehensive beginning reading. In D. Browder & F. Spooner (Eds.), more language arts, math, and science for students with severe disabilities (pp109-125). Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
Puranik, C., Al Otaiba, S., & Ye, F. (2014). Examining early spelling and writing skills: A comparative analysis of kindergarteners with speech and language impairments and their typically developing peers. In B. Arfè, J. Dockrell, & V. Berninger (Eds). Handbook of Writing Development in Children with Hearing Loss, Dyslexia or Oral Language Problems: Implications for Assessment and Instruction (pp.112-129). NewYork, NY: Oxford.
Fuchs, D., McMaster, K. L., Fuchs, L. S., & Al Otaiba, S. (2013). Data-based individualization as a means of providing intensive instruction to students with serious learning disorders. In. L. Swanson, K. R., Harris, & S. Graham (Eds.), Handbook of learning disabilities Second edition (pp 526-544). New York, NY: Guilford.
Al Otaiba, S., Allor, J., Ortiz, M., Greulich, L., Wanzek, J., & Torgesen, J. (in press). Tier 3 primary grade reading interventions: Can we distinguish necessary from sufficient?
To appear 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.). New York: Springer Science.
Baker, D.L., Al Otaiba, S., Ortiz, M, Correa, V., & Cole, R. (in press). Vocabulary development and intervention for English Language Learners in the early grades. Advances in Childhood Development and Behavior, vol 46.
Connor, C. M., & Al Otaiba, S. (in press). Reading instruction in the primary grades. Oxford Handbook of Reading.
Wanzek, J., Al Otaiba, S., & sGatlin, B. (in press). Implementation of Tier II interventions in the primary grades. 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.