Hi, and welcome to my page!
My name is Rebecca Knoph, which is pronounced:
- /rəbekə näf/ (English pronunciation)
- /rebekə kənäf/ (Norsk uttalelse).
- My maiden name is Allinder (pronounced /aləndər/).
You can download the very outdated paper version of my Curriculum Vitae: Last upated: June 3, 2019
I am a third-year Ph.D. Fellow at the University of Oslo in Norway. I work with the TextDIM (Text Comprehension: Development, Instruction, and Multiple Texts) and LinCon (Literacy and Numeracy in Context) research teams, which investiage:
- how early readers comprehend text
- how we develop this comprehension into early adulthood
- how to teach struggling readers
- how readers comprehend multiple texts and text styles
- the relation between language and mathematical development
- causal mechanisms
- all of the above, but for dual language learners, too.
We are connected by the “red thread” of literacy in the most general sense of the word. It makes for exceptionally interesting conversation as a group.
I have two main interests: language learning and statistics. I know–those two interests do not sound very related, but my thesis focuses on which English words are particularly difficult for second language learners, and how to make English literacy tests fair and accurate. I also teach statistics at the master’s level and reading intervention science at the bachelor’s level, building student skills of reading dense research articles comprehensively (aka not skipping the tables) and critically (aka not taking everything at face value).
I am also part of many other research projects, outside of the main research teams:
- We are investigating academic vocabulary assessments and factors that affect performance for English language learners differently from English natives.
- We are translating a new listening comprehension measure for young children (ages 3-6), which identifies who needs immediate lagnuage intervention.
- We are improving the Introduction to Statistics course as a blended-learning course for Norwegian students in their Master’s programs.
Prior to accepting this position, I graduated with my Master of Science in Experimental Psychology with a graduate certificate in Statistics and Research Design; and Summa Cum Laude in the Honors College with my Bachelor of Science in Psychology. I specialized in linguistic research, testing, and education; specifically in second/foreign language learning and testing. While IRT is my favorite type of statistical analysis, my second favorite analysis is the simple t-test because of the Lady Tasting Tea myth (or maybe true story, we will never really know), though my students do not find that story nearly as fun as I do. It’s also fundamental in my book.
My husband, Martin, is from Brønnøysund, Norway. We met shortly before I studied abroad in Bodø at Universitetet i Nordland (now Nord Universitetet or North University). After many months of visa paperwork, doctor’s visits, and embassy appointments, we married in October 2015. Fun fact: we share an anniversary with the Obamas! We welcomed our baby boy into the world just weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. I am definitely still adjusting to this whole “working mom” thing, but our son continues to humble, teach, and inspire me. He’s developing into an adorable Norwegian/English bilingual toddler!
I love working with statistics and discovering new applications for language learning and testing. When I am not teaching, studying, researching, or “momming” (which is rare these days), I enjoy being outdoors. The Norwegian landscape is a little different from the lakes and marsh of Missouri, but I enjoy both nonetheless. I also enjoy painting–especially with acrylic paint. My favorite store in Norway is Søstrene Grene, which is a bit like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, but more expensive and smaller.
Oh, and my favorite book is Flowers for Algernon. If you have not read it, prepare to cry. I do not usually enjoy re-reading books, but this is an exception. It will push you to consider the limitations of science and the impact that innovation can have at the individual level.