Colby Hall

Colby Hall

  • Assistant Professor
Currently Inviting Ph.D Applications

Office Location

Bavaro Hall 323
PO Box 400273
417 Emmet Street S
Charlottesville, VA 22903


Colby Hall studies literacy development, assessment, and instruction. Her research focuses on the components of effective literacy instruction for elementary and middle-school students with or at risk for literacy-learning difficulties; inference instruction as a means of improving reading comprehension; reading instruction for bilingual/multilingual students with reading difficulties; instruction supporting text comprehension in content-area classrooms; and technology-delivered reading instruction.

Hall is currently the principal investigator (PI) on the Office of Special Education Programs-funded “AERO ELs” project (2023-2028), which seeks to adapt the Accelerating Early Reading Outcomes (AERO) small-group reading intervention so that it better meets the needs of primary grade Spanish-speaking emergent bilingual students at risk for reading difficulties. She is also PI on the Institute of Education Sciences-funded “Project LINK,” which aims to further develop and pilot test a knowledge-building, inference instruction intervention for middle schoolers (2024-2028). She is Co-PI or Co-I on a number of other U.S. Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, and Virginia Department of Education-funded projects that seek to improve literacy outcomes for students.


Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2016
M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2007
A.B., Harvard College, Harvard University, 2002

Curriculum Vitae


  • Reading assessment
  • Word reading and spelling instruction for elementary students with or at risk for dyslexia
  • Language comprehension instruction to support reading comprehension for elementary and middle-school students with or at risk for reading comprehension difficulties 
  • Reading instruction for emergent bilingual students with reading difficulties
  • Instruction supporting text comprehension in content-area classrooms
  • Technology-delivered reading instruction

Featured Research

Validation of an instrument for assessing elementary-grade educators’ knowledge to teach reading

This article describes the development and validation of the Teacher Understanding of Literacy Constructs and Evidence-Based Instructional Practices (TULIP) survey, which assesses teacher knowledge in the domains of (a) phonological awareness, (b) phonics, decoding, and encoding, (c) reading fluency, (d) oral language, and (e) reading comprehension.

Forty Years of Reading Intervention Research for Elementary Students with or at Risk for Dyslexia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

This study meta-analyzed experimental or quasi-experimental intervention studies conducted between 1980 and 2020 that aimed to improve reading outcomes for Grade K-5 students with or at risk for dyslexia (i.e., students with or at risk for word reading difficulties, defined as scoring at or below a set norm-referenced screening or mean baseline performance threshold).

Effectiveness of Interventions for English Learners with Word Reading Difficulties: A Research Synthesis

This study meta-analyzed the last four decades (1980–2020) of reading intervention research focused on improving reading outcomes for English language (EL) students in Grades K–5 with or at risk for word reading difficulties.

Pilot Study of Unlocking Understanding Professional Development to Support Grade 3 Reading Comprehension

This study piloted a reading comprehension instruction professional development intervention for teachers of upper elementary grade students (Unlocking Understanding), exploring the relative effects of two versions of the intervention that varied the degree of lesson scripting.


Faculty Associated

Fostering Independence While Teaching Students With or at Risk for Reading Disabilities

This article describes the GRR model of instruction and provides specific guidance and resources to support special education teachers in implementing the GRR model during small-group reading instruction in primary-grade classrooms, with a particular emphasis on facilitating group and independent practice.


Faculty Associated

Observing Two Reading Intervention Programs for Students with Dyslexia

This exploratory study examined the nature of instruction provided in two reading intervention programs designed for elementary-grade students with dyslexia (The Multisensory Teaching Approach and Reading RULES!).

Featured News