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Diane Pesco, PhD, SLP (C)

Associate Professor, Education

Diane Pesco, PhD, SLP (C)
Office: S-FG 6201 
Faubourg Ste-Catherine Building,
1610 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 7338

Diane Pesco joined the Department of Education (Child Studies Programs) in July 2008.  Her research focuses on the conversational and narrative skills of children of diverse ability and from varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds.  She is also interested in the role of socialization and instruction in the strengthening of such skills and in novel tools for their assessment.

Pesco has taught courses on language development, interventions designed for children with delays or difficulties acquiring language, and child development.  She has also worked as a speech-language consultant in Montreal and nearby communities, working directly with children and collaborating with teachers and caregivers in supporting children’s oral language and early literacy.


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo, Psychology
PhD McGill University, School of Communication Sciences & Disorders (Speech-Language Pathology)
MSc McGill University, School of Communication Sciences & Disorders (Speech-Language Pathology)
BA University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Women’s Studies

Professional experience

Associate Professor, Concordia University, 2014-present
Assistant Professor, Concordia University, 2008-2013
Lecturer, Université de Montreal, Ecole d’orthophonie;
McGill University, First Nations and Inuit Education
Speech-Language Pathologist in schools and other agencies serving children

Research interests

conversational and narrative skills of children of diverse ability and from varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds; the role of socialization and instruction in fostering these skills; and the relationship of oral language and literacy in childhood.

Courses taught

EDUC 211 Child Development
EDUC 490 Exceptional Child I
EDUC 491 Exceptional Child II
EDUC 402 Diversity Issues in Childhood
CHST 603 Seminar: Issues in Child Studies
CHST 612 Language Acquisition and Development
CHST 640 Language Matters
EDUC 808 Reporting Research

Teaching activities


Pesco, D. & O'Neill, D. (accepted). Assessing early language use by French-speaking children: Introducing the LUI-French. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Pesco, D., MacLeod, A. A. N., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cleave, P., Trudeau, N., de Valenzuela, J., Cain, K., ... & Verhoeven, L. (accepted). A multi-site review of policies affecting opportunities for children with developmental disabilities to become bilingual. Journal of CommunicationDisorders.

Pesco, D. & Kay-Raining Bird, E. (2016). Perspectives on bilingual children’s narratives elicited with the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives. Applied Psycholinguistics, 37, 1-9. doi:10.1017/S0142716415000387

Pesco, D., & Gagné, A. (2015). Scaffolding narrative skills: A meta-analysis of instruction in early childhood settings. Early Education and Development. Advance online.doi:10.1080/10409289.2015.1060800

Segal, A. &  Pesco, D. (2015). Narrative skills of youth with Down syndrome: A comprehensive literature review. Journal of Developmental andPhysical Disabilities, 27, 721-743. doi:10.1007/s10882-015-9441-5

Pesco, D., & Devlin, C. (2015). The effects of explicit instruction on French-speaking kindergarteners’ understanding of stories. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 31(2), 195–206.doi:10.1177/0265659014548518

McClintock, B., Pesco, D., & Martin-Chang, S. (2014). Thinking aloud: Effects on text comprehension by children with Specific Language Impairment and their peers. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 49, 637–648. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12081

Pesco, D. (2014). Working with Aboriginal children and families: Cultural responsiveness and beyond. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 38, 144-151.

Pesco, D., & O’Neill, D. (2012). Predicting language outcomes from early pragmatics assessed by the Language Use Inventory. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 55, 421-434.

Breton-Carbonneau, G., Cleghorn, A., Evans, R., & Pesco, D. (2012). Pedagogical and political encounters in linguistically and culturally diverse primary classrooms: Examples from Quebec, Canada and Gauteng, South Africa. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 42, 373-391.

Pesco, D. (2011). L'usage du langage chez les enfants et quelques outils pertinents. Fréquences, 21, 22-24.

Pesco, D., & Crago, M. B. (2010). Language socialization in Canadian Aboriginal communities. In P. Duff & N. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of Language and Education Vol. 8 (pp. 273-284). New York: Springer.

Allen, S. E. M., Crago, M. B., & Pesco, D. (2006). The effect of majority language exposure on minority language skills: The case of Inuktitut. International Journal of Bilingual Education & Bilingualism, 9, 578-596.

Crago, M. B., Eriks-Brophy, A., Pesco, D., & McAlpine, L. (1997). Culturally-based miscommunication in classroom interaction. Language, Speech, & Hearing Services in the Schools, 28, 245-254.

Pesco, D., & Crago, M. B. (1996). "We went home, told the whole story to our friends": Narratives by children in an Algonquin community. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 6, 293-321.

Pesco, D., Crago, M. B., & McCabe, A. (1996). Context and structure: Some North American Indian and Aboriginal traditions. In A. McCabe (Ed.), Chameleon readers: Teaching children to appreciate all kinds of good stories (pp. 137-154). McGraw Hill: NY.

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