Associate Professor, Linguistics, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)
Cross-Appointed Faculty, Applied Psychology & Human Development, University of Toronto, St. George


Research and Teaching Interests

  • Child and adult language acquisition; cross-linguistic transfer in L2 acquisition and creolization; L2 lexical acquisition and testing; cognate facilitation; psycholinguistics of reading; electronic literacy


    • Chen Bum-Gardner, X., Dronjic, V., & Helms-Park, R.(forthcoming). Second Language Reading: Psycholinguistic and Cognitive Perspectives. Routledge Publishers.

    Selected Articles

    Articles submitted/in preparation on the following topics:

    • Helms-Park, R., Retention of transferred lexical features in SLA and creolization.
    • Helms-Park, R. (with Paul Stapleton & Vedran Dronjic), L2 acquisition of Mandarin compounds.
    • Helms-Park, R. (with Maria Claudia Petrescu & Vedran Dronjic). Various articles on the cognate facilitation hypothesis (based on an on-going study investigating the acquisition of English cognates and non-cognates by speakers of Romanian, with Vietnamese speakers as the comparison group).
    • Helms-Park, R.(with Zhanna Pergan), Elaborate processing of Ukrainian-English cognates and retention.
    • Helms-Park, R.(with Vanessa Rukholm & Ron Smyth), Influence of music on the acquisition of L2 Italian lexis.
    • Helms-Park, R.(with Marina Sherkina), Creating a lexical test for Labrador Inuttitut.

    Some Recent Grants

    • SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2004-8): "Transfer in second language acquisition and creolization: L1/substrate influence in emergent and stable grammars."
    • Connaught New Faculty Match-Up Grant (2002-4): "An empirical study of the divergent roles of voice and content in second-language academic writing."
    • Teaching Enhancement Grants, Teaching and Learning Services, UTSC
      2005-6 (with P. Radia). On an explicit pedagogy in classroom-based genre analysis.
      2004-5 (with P. Radia). On the use of the Internet in undergraduate research.
      2002-4 On peer review in undergraduate academic writing.

    Courses Taught Recently

    • Graduate (UTSG)
      HDP1299 Child Language Development in Monolingual, Bilingual, and Clinical Contexts (upcoming)
      CTL3799 Special Topic: Second Language Lexical Acquisition
    • Undergraduate (Psycholinguistics Specialist Program, UTSC)
      PLIC34 First Language Acquisition
      PLIC25 Second Language Acquisition
      PLID34 The Psycholinguistics of Reading
      PLID44 Acquisition of the Mental Lexicon

    Special Interests

    • Classical music; concerts & shows; book learning; gardening; travel outside North America; museums, galleries; politics; any local, national, & global effort to minimize inequity or environmental degradation; animals; the wilderness; meaningful discussions

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      This page was last updated September 2011.
      2003 University of Toronto at Scarborough