Paola Uccelli studies socio-cultural and individual differences in early language development and in academic literacy. With a background in linguistics, she explores how different language skills (at the lexical, grammatical, and discourse levels) interact with each other to either promote or hinder advances in language expression and comprehension. She earned her doctoral degree in Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After teaching various Spanish language and culture courses in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, she returned to the Harvard Graduate School of Education to work as a postdoctoral fellow in collaboration with the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL). Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, her postdoctoral research focused on the design and analysis of an innovative reading comprehension assessment and a universally-designed reading intervention. She is particularly interested in the challenges and possibilities faced by struggling students as they try to learn the academic discourse valued at school. Her current research addresses questions such as how struggling students expand their academic vocabulary and how they learn to use a variety of discourse structures flexibly and conventionally for diverse communicative purposes. Being a native of Peru, she is also interested in Latin America where she has participated in research conferences and workshops in several countries.