Research Students

Emily Wood 

Emily is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and graduate student at the BAM! lab. She completed her undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Languages. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish and speaks conversational German. Emily attended McGill University’s School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, where she earned her clinical master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She then worked for seven years as a paediatric SLP, primarily in a schoolboard setting, though she has experience working in hospitals, private practice and in community-based public agencies as well. Emily began volunteering for the BAM! lab after guest lecturing on the topic of early literacy assessment for Dr. Molnar’s Child Language Development I course. She acted as a research assistant in the Online Literacy Study and has supervised SLP graduate students as clinical educator during summer placements at the lab. During this time, Emily also held adjunct lecture status at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. Currently, Emily is pursuing her PhD under Dr. Molnar’s supervision. Her research focuses on the validity of literacy assessment tools, and development of a dynamic assessment of early literacy skills for use with heterogenous bilingual populations. Emily is a teaching assistant for both Child Language Development I and II courses in the clinical SLP master's program. She maintains her clinical connections by continuing to mentor new clinicians and supervise clinical graduate students.

Insiya Bhalloo

A graduate from UTSC’s Psycholinguistics Specialist program (Honours, B.A in Psycholinguistics, Specialist and Minor in Psychology, 2018), Insiya is especially interested in facilitating the development of culturally-effective speech-language and literacy assessment and therapy tools. Conversant in multiple languages (including Urdu, Swahili, Gujrati and Farsi), Insiya is passionate about contributing to the research field of multi-literacy and language-specific research – one of the many reasons why she enjoys her work as an PhD Candidate at the Multilingual Development Lab. Her MSc project focuses on the Predictors of Reading Development and Difficulty in Bilingual Urdu-English Canadian Children. Favourite volunteer opportunity? – Helping to set-up a speech clinic in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania for Swahili-English bilingual children! Insiya hopes to pursue further research in SLP, while continuing to explore her passion for speech-language research (and further travelling!). Favourite hobby? Drinking tea and skiing (but not at the same time!).

Kai Ian Leung

Kai Ian Leung is a PhD student at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto (UofT). She graduated from UofT's undergraduate program in Linguistics and Psychology with a minor in Asian Cultures and Literatures and also received her Masters of Science with the BAM lab. She's been involved in the lab since the very beginning as a Work-Study RA for the Voices Project and Tweety Project. Her current project is a collaboration effort with the Hospital for Sick Children concerning language exposure affecting development of language and cognition in children following a pediatric stroke. Kai has been speaking and learning 5 languages from elementary school, including Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Spanish and most recently Japanese.

Wenfu Bao

Wenfu Bao is a Ph.D. student in Speech-Language Pathology and Neuroscience at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto. He earned his M.Sc. in Linguistics at the University of Alberta, where his thesis explored novel word learning in adults from different language backgrounds. Wenfu is interested in examining the cognitive and neural development in bilinguals across the lifespan through different techniques, such as EEG, eye-tracking and heart rate. His research project focuses on the neural and physiological correlates of attention allocation in auditory processing among monolinguals and bilinguals. Outside of the lab, Wenfu is involved in a project which develops a test of higher order language assessment.