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C. Melanie Schuele

Director, Child Language and Literacy Laboratory
Professor, Special Education, and Psychology & Human Development


  • B.S., 1981, University of Miami, FL
  • M.A., 1985, The University of Texas at Austin, TX
  • Ph.D., 1995, University of Kansas, KS
  • Post-doctoral training, 1998, Arizona State University, AZ


Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., Dr. Schuele practiced as a speech-language pathologist in school and clinical settings serving primarily young children with language impairments.

In the master’s program in speech-language pathology, Dr. Schuele teaches courses on child language impairment and speech sound disorders (offered annually) and directs the specialty track in school speech-language pathology. For the latter, she collaborates with the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools to provide students varied school practicum and to sponsor the School Speech-Language Pathology Conference at Vanderbilt, held annually in early August.

Dr. Schuele’s research lab, the Child Language and Literacy Lab, is focused on the development of language and literacy skills in typical and atypical populations and on advancing the practice of speech-language pathology in schools. Their complex syntax research (a) documents the course of complex syntax acquisition in children with specific language impairment (SLI) as compared to typically-developing same-age peers and language-matched peers and (b) explores strategies for improving the complex syntax outcomes of children with language impairment. Their research on early literacy acquisition explores the effectiveness of phonological awareness intervention and the effectiveness of early readers that simultaneously promote decoding and listening comprehension. Lab members include Ph.D. students, master’s students, and undergraduate students as well as high school students from the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt.

NIH Biosketch

Child Language and Literacy Lab