Department of Teaching & Learning


Doris Baker

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Oregon
6401 Airline Rd
Suite 301
Dallas, 75205
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Associate 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), funded by IES. This project uses an intelligent tutoring system to teach Hispanic students in second grade academic vocabulary in-depth. She is also the PI on the Hispanic Families Network, a project designed to train Hispanic mothers to use social media to access and disseminate information about the importance of attending preschool. The project is funded by the Knight Foundation to the Dallas Morning News (DMN) with a subcontract to SMU. The DMN received the 2016 Associated Press Media Editors award in recognition of their work in building the network. Dr. Baker is also the chair of the Master in Bilingual Education in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Dr. Baker’s research has been published in Exceptional Children, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Teaching Exceptional Children, Learning Disability Quarterly, Journal of School Psychology, School Psychology Review, 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. In addition, Dr. Baker is the main author of Bookshop Fonética, a curriculum program designed to teach phonics in Spanish to kindergarten and first grade students in the U.S., and the senior author of a formative assessment in Span­ish for students in grades K-3 titled: Indicadores Dinámicos del Exito en la Lectura (IDEL).

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 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 Hispanic community. 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

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

Baker, D. L., Richards-Tutor, C., Sparks, A.S, & Canges, R. (in press). Review of single subject research examining the effectiveness of interventions for at risk English learners. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice.

Crespo, P., Jiménez, J., Rodríguez, C., Baker, D.L., Park., Y. (in press). 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., Richards-Tutor, C., Gersten, R., Baker, S. K., & Smith, J. (2017). Building Literacy for English learners within Response to Intervention. In Emilia C. Lopez, Sara G. Nahari, and Sherrie L. Proctor (Eds.), The Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology. An Interdisciplinary Perspective, 2nd Edition.

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.

Baker, D.L., Richards-Tutor, C., Gersten, R., Baker, S. K., & Smith, J. (2016). Building Literacy for English learners within Response to Intervention. In Emilia C. Lopez, Sara G. Nahari, and Sherrie L. Proctor (Eds). The Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology. An Interdisciplinary Perspective, 2nd Edition.

Baker, D. L., Burns, D.S, Kame’enui, E., Smolkowski, K. & Baker, S.K. (2015).Does small group explicit instruction support the transition from Spanish to English reading instruction for first grade English Learners at risk for reading difficulties? Learning Disabilities Quarterly, pp. 1-14). DOI: 10.1177/0731948715616757.

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 (pp. 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.

Baker, D. L, Biancarosa, G., Park, B. J., 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.

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.S, 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.

Jiménez, J. E., Baker, D. L., Rodriguez, C., Crespo, P., Artiles, C,  & Alfonso, M. (2011). Evaluating progress in reading acquisition within a Response to Instruction model in the Canary Islands. 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.

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

S = Manuscripts written with graduate students