The Ensuring Full Literacy in a Multicultural and Digital World project has received funding through the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF).


The project, led by Language Sciences co-director Dr. Janet Werker, professor of Psychology, and Dr. Muhammad Abdul-Mageed, Language Sciences Research Lead and assistant professor in Linguistics and School of Information, received $199,968 in the latest round of funding. This complements the Canada Foundation for Innovation funding the project received in 2020 for research infrastructure associated with Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council research support.

The funding will be used to provide access to portable eye tracking technology, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIS), electroencephalogram (EEG), and deep learning systems, to study how to advance full literacy for all Canadians as the medium for reading becomes increasingly digital, and readers come from a wide variety of home languages and cultures.

The project aims to create innovative language and literacy materials and technological platforms better tailored to learners of different ages and from different backgrounds. By identifying factors that improve spoken language and reading skills, the project anticipates that the long-term benefits will be to ensure economic and social integration for all Canadians, including new immigrants, say Drs. Werker and Abdul-Mageed.

They join 25 other UBC and UBCO researchers and research groups awarded BCKDF funding this round, totalling a combined $22.4million.