Ilsa E. Schwarz, Ph.D.

Field Specialty

Child Language and Literacy

Research Interests

Along with colleagues and students, I am exploring various components of reading comprehension with particular focus on vocabulary (basic concept acquisition), phonological awareness, and decoding (including spelling). I pursue research that is ultimately designed to create language and literacy assessments and interventions for young school age children. My investigations involve children with typical hearing and children who are deaf or hearing impaired. Studies initiated by doctoral students in my lab also include the cross-language transfer of phonological awareness skills with bilingual Korean-English speaking children, and a developmental study of proverb understanding with Korean and American children, adolescents, and adults.


  • B.S. University of Oregon, 1978
  • M.S. University of Oregon, 1979
  • Ph.D. University of Oregon, 1982

Recent Research Publications

  • Park, H. & Schwarz, I. (2012). Non word repetition performance of early school age children in Korea. Asia Pacific Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing. (15), 3.
  • Schwarz, I. & Bowers, L. (2012). Preliminary validation of a curriculum-based measure of basic concepts. Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Education. Honolulu, HI.
  • Bowers, L., & Schwarz, I. (in press). Assessing response to basic concept instruction: Preliminary evidence with children who are deaf. Communication Disorders Quarterly.
  • Bowers, L., McCarthy, J., Schwarz, I., Wolbers, K. & Dostal, H. (in submission). Examination of the spelling skills of middle school students who are deaf.
  • Yoon, H., Schwarz, I., Nippold, M., Mellin. J. & Meunchen, R. (in submission) Proverb comprehension in Korean and American youth: A comparative study.
  • McCarthy, J. Beukelman, D., Hogan, T. & Schwarz, I. (in submission). Influence of computerized sounding out on spelling performance for children who do and do not rely on AAC.

Recent Research Presentations

  • Schwarz, I. The development of reading comprehension; deficits associated with children raised in poverty. International Reading Comprehension Symposium. University of Canterbury, College of Education, Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • October, 2012. Bowers, L. & Schwarz, I. Oral Narrative Skills of Students from Low SES Homes. American Speech-Language-Hearing Convention, Atlanta, 2012.
  • Bowers, L. & Schwarz, I. Motivate Me! Improving Reading for Students from Low Income Homes. American Speech-Language-Hearing Convention, Atlanta, 2012.
  • McCarthy, J., Schwarz, I. & Menz, H. Frequency of Basic concept Words in Classrooms: Influences on Instruction. American Speech-Language-Hearing Convention, Atlanta, 2012.
  • Hume, S. & Schwarz, I. Phonological Awareness Training in the Treatment of Childhood Apraxia. American Speech-Language-Hearing Convention, Atlanta, 2012.
  • Schwarz, I. & Bowers, L. Preliminary Validation of a Curriculum-Based Measure of Basic Concepts. Hawaii International Conference on Education. Honolulu, 2012.

Courses Taught

ASP 300/501 - Introduction to Communication Disorders
ASP 590 – Seminar in Literacy
ASP 652 – Seminar in Professional Practice
ASP 661 - Advanced Seminar: Response to Intervention

Ilsa E. Schwarz, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Ilsa E. Schwarz, Ph.D.
Professor, CCC-SLP, Fellow - American Speech, Language & Hearing Association

Fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association

Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology
University of Tennessee
434 South Stadium Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996-0740

Phone: (865) 974-5019