Pumpki Lei Su

Pumpki Lei Su

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Language development and caregiver-child interaction in children with autism and bilingual children; language assessment in bilingual children.

 
972-883-2384
CR 1.322
Language Interaction and Language Acquisition in Children (LILAC) Lab
Curriculum Vitae
ORCID

Currently accepting graduate students

Tags: Communication Sciences and Disorders autism language development SLH-Faculty Callier-Faculty Speech and Language Disorders Child language Bilingualism

Professional Preparation

PhD - Hearing and Speech Sciences
Vanderbilt University
MS - Interdisciplinary Science in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
Vanderbilt University
BS - Communication Sciences and Disorders; Linguistics
Northwestern University

Research Areas

Dr. Su’s research focuses on language development and caregiver-child interaction in children with autism spectrum disorder and bilingual children. Theoretically guided by the Transactional Model of Language Development, she focuses on the influence of child-level factors, input-level factors, and their interaction on language learning in her research. She uses various methods in her work, including observational methods, eye-tracking, naturalistic home language recordings, and language sample analysis to understand how children with different linguistic experiences acquire language.

The long-term goal of her work is to (a) identify malleable aspects of caregiver-child interaction that optimize language outcomes in diverse groups of children, and (b) develop culturally and linguistically sensitive tools to assess language and identify language disorders in children from diverse backgrounds.

Publications

Receptive dual-language profiles in Spanish–English bilingual preschoolers. 2024 - Journal Article
Developmental language disorder in Chinese children: A systematic review of research from 1997 to 2022 2023 - Journal Article
Receptive dual-language profiles in Spanish–English bilingual preschoolers. 2023 - Journal Article
Dual Language Profiles in Spanish-Speaking English Learners 2022 - Journal Article
Su, P. L., Rojas, R., & Iglesias, A. (2022). Dual language profiles in Spanish-Speaking English Learners. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 65(7), 2608-2628.

2022 - publications
Parental Language Input to DHH Children Before Cochlear Implantation 2021 - Journal Article
The role of early social motivation in explaining variability in functional language in toddlers with autism spectrum disorder 2021 - Journal Article
The Bilingual Home Language Boost Through the Lens of the COVID-19 Pandemic 2021 - Journal Article

Awards

Advancing Academic-Research Career (AARC) Award - ASHA [2023]

Appointments

Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [2022–Present]
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Delaware [2020–2022]
Clinical Fellow in Speech-Language Pathology
Late Talkers Consulting [2018–2020]

Projects

Word learning from infant-directed speech in bilingual children
2022/01 Research on early language development has focused disproportionally on monolingual children. Given the prevalence of bilingualism worldwide and in the US, more research is urgently needed to generate language development theories that address diverse language learners and to better support language development in bilingual children. This study focuses on word learning from infant-directed speech (IDS; also known as "motherese"/"parenthese"/"babytalk") in Spanish-English bilingual toddlers and incorporates eye-gaze measures and all-day recording data. 

Word learning from infant-directed speech in autistic toddlers
This study focuses on word learning from infant-directed speech (IDS; also known as "motherese"/"parenthese"/"babytalk") in autistic toddlers. Similar to the project above, this study uses eyegaze methods and all-day recording data. 
Narrative sample analysis in Mandarin-English bilingual children
2022/08 This project aims to develop transcription and scoring protocol for narrative samples from Mandarin-English bilingual children. 

Additional Information

Speech Language Pathologist, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations
License number: 120130
Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP)
Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) (ASHA #14114264)

News Articles

The Fourth (Language) is the Charm this Time
ASHFoundation Research Spotlight

Affiliations

Callier Center for Communication Disorders
Center for Children and Families
Center for Vital Longevity

Funding

R21: Word Learning from Infant-Directed Speech in Autistic Children
- NIH NIDCD [2024/04–2027/04]
Caregivers frequently use infant-directed speech (IDS), commonly known as “parentese”, when speaking to young children. Compared to adult-directed speech (ADS), IDS is typically characterized by greater pitch variation, longer duration, and louder volume. IDS facilitates early language development in typically developing (TD) children. However, we do not know whether the facilitative effect of IDS on language learning can be generalized to clinical populations such as autistic children given that core autism features (e.g., sensory and social communication differences) may interact with how they process and learn from IDS. The overall objective of this research is to determine whether IDS facilitates novel word learning in autistic children and to investigate if the effect of IDS is conditional upon input factors and child factors.
Word Learning from Infant-Directed Speech in Bilingual Children
- ASHFoundation [2021/12–2022/12]