UCSF Learning Success Program

Welcome and thank you for your interest in our Learning Success Program! 

Understanding Reading Acquisition through Immersion in Foreign Languages

**NOTE: Your child does NOT need to be bilingual to participate in the program. English-only participants are welcome!** 

English-only participants Click here for Information

Español | 廣東話​

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 Study Initial Information Form


Learning to read is one of the most important and powerful skills children acquire for success later in life. While the process of learning to read is relatively well documented in monolingual children, this process is not well understood in multilingual children or children learning to read in other languages. The UCSF Research Team is seeking to answer this question using cutting edge neuroscience technology.

We began a large-scale neuroimaging project in 2016 looking at how children learning two (or more) languages learn to read from kindergarten to 3rd grade. Our efforts will initially include Spanish and Cantonese speakers learning to read in English and their native languages, English speakers learning to read in English as well as Spanish or Cantonese, and English speakers learning to read in General Education (English-only) programs. We are currently offering families an exciting and limited opportunity (at no cost) to monitor your child’s academic (reading and math) and cognitive (self-control, attention, memory) skills, which are critical to future success, every year for three years. 

We ultimately hope to help teachers develop instructional strategies to maximize English language learners’ success in the classroom and beyond and that the findings from this study will not only help your child, your family and your school, but will also help in planning better dual-language immersion instruction.

brainLENS (Laboratory for Educational NeuroScience) at the University of California, San Francisco combines cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary research methods with a deep passion for maximizing children’s potential in life, particularly stemming from the academic domain. In the spirit of our lab, we aim to share the love of neuroscience with children of all ages, rapidly translate research findings to practice, and collaborate with teachers, clinicians, and families.

Benefits for you, your family, and your community:

• You will receive detailed results after the behavioral assessment and get a picture of your child's brain!

• You will be reimbursed for travel and your child will receive incentives and/or prizes for participating

• You will be paid $40 for completing each portion of the study, for a total of up to $80 payment

• You will gain access to practical strategies (based on the latest research) for families and schools to strengthen children's skills
• You can help your school and PTA build community through professional development for teachers, field trips, classes and events

In addition to the cutting edge research in brainLENS, we have a commitment to the continued development of the various Schools and PTAs in the Bay Area, particularly the schools in the SFUSD. To affirm this commitment, we have pledged to support by:

• Providing volunteer tutoring services
• Additional science classes and support
• Professional development for teachers, continued education
• Seminars for PTAs and Teachers
• Workshop opportunities students or teachers related to bilingualism and/or brain/neuroscience.

Please note that there are some requirements to participate in the study:

NOTE: Your child does NOT need to be bilingual to participate in the study. English-only participants are welcome!

• Your child will be entering Kindergarten in an SFUSD Spanish or Cantonese Dual Immersion Pathway Program/Two-Way Immersion School in 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018 


• Your child will be entering Kindergarten in the General Ed (English only) program at any SFUSD school.

NOTE: We may have to exclude children who have metal in their body (including braces), are left handed, or have major neurodevelopment, neurological, psychiatric or psychological conditions (but please apply if interested -- we will review each case thoroughly to determine eligibility).


Eligible Immersion Schools:

• We are looking for: 1) incoming Kindergarteners who will begin at an SFUSD Cantonese or Spanish dual language immersion pathway program (listed below) in Fall 2016, or 2) English-speaking incoming Kindergartners in the General Education program at any SFUSD school.

Alice Fong Yu Alternative School
Alvarado Elementary School
Bret Harte Elementary School
Buena Vista Horace Mann
Chinese Immersion School (CIS) at De Avila
Daniel Webster Elementary School
Fairmount Elementary School
Garfield Elementary School
Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School
Marshall Elementary School
Monroe Elementary School
Paul Revere Elementary School
West Portal Elementary School

If you would like to participate please contact:

([email protected])

Or call: 415 476 9861

Please complete:  Learning Success Initial Information Form

If you would like more information, please click here!

There are no risks to your child for his or her participation in this study. All information collected will be strictly confidential and will be used only for the purposes of this study. We will not use real names of parents or children. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary.


Additional Links

Community Integration

What should I do if I want to get involved?

Directions to our research sites.

Apply to join our Learning Success research team!