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Tanya Wright

Faculty/Staff image

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Michigan

351 Erickson


Tanya S. Wright is an associate professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. Wright is a former kindergarten teacher whose research and teaching focus on curriculum and instruction in language and literacy during the early childhood and elementary years. Her research examines instructional practices that promote oral language, vocabulary, and knowledge development for young children. Wright is co-author of several books for teachers and parents including: A Parent's Guide to Reading With Your Young Child (Scholastic), Nurturing Knowledge: Building a Foundation for School Success by Linking Early Literacy to Math, Science, Art, and Social Studies (Scholastic), and All About Words: Increasing Vocabulary in the Common Core Classroom: PreK-2 (Teachers College Press). Wright is also the author of a new book to be released in Fall 2020, A Teacher's Guide to Vocabulary Development Across the Day: Grades K-3 (Heinemann). Her work has been published in journals such as American Educator, The Elementary School Journal, The Reading Teacher, Reading and Writing, Reading Research Quarterly, the Journal of Literacy Research and the Journal of Teacher Education. Wright's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the CREATE for STEM foundation at MSU. Wright was the winner of the International Literacy Association Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2012. She is currently the Senior Editor of The Reading Teacher, the International Literacy Association's peer-reviewed journal for educators working with children up to age 12. Wright recently led the content development for a series of 55 open access professional development videos of classroom literacy instruction for PreK and K-3 teachers (videos available at: She is the lead author of the SOLID Start curriculum (Science, Oral Language, and Literacy Development from the Start of School) which is an open access science and disciplinary literacy curriculum for grades K-2 (