Molly F. Collins, EdD
Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University
Molly Collins is a lecturer at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Collins received a Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, Masters degrees from Boston University (early childhood education) and Kansas University (applied linguistics), and her Doctoral degree from Boston University. Her work focuses on language and literacy acquisition in young children, particularly English learners and children in poverty. Collins' areas of expertise include vocabulary acquisition and comprehension, instructional language during storybook reading, and quality issues in curriculum and instruction in programs for young children. Collins is currently conducting a longitudinal study of the effects of a storyreading intervention begun in preschool on children's vocabulary acquisition, comprehension, and early reading skills. Collins has served as principal investigator for an Early Reading First project in Chicago Public Schools Head Start classrooms. During the four-year project, she provided professional development on language and literacy for teachers and classroom mentors. Collins is currently examining effects of the ERF project on children’s oral language skills, teachers’ vocabulary support during conversations, and teachers' instructional language in fostering children's inferential thinking during storybook reading. Collins is the recipient of the International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award and is author of several research articles. Collins has taught graduate courses in cognitive development and language acquisition, has published articles in several research journals, presents extensively at national and international conferences, and is an active member of several literacy- and education-related organizations. At Vanderbilt, Collins teaches courses in language acquisition and is the project director for an IES-funded project examining preschoolers’ language development from storybook reading and play. Collins also works on the preschool team of the Vanderbilt-Abu Dhabi demonstration school project.