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Sarah Surrain, PhD

Sarah Surrain, PhD


Dr. Sarah Surrain is originally from Chicago, where her early experiences learning Spanish and her work as a literacy coach in Spanish-English bilingual classrooms inspired her to conduct research on bilingual development in early childhood. She received her master’s degree in Language and Literacy and her PhD in Education with a concentration in Human Development, Learning and Teaching from Harvard University. She joined UTHealth as a postdoctoral fellow in 2021 where she continues to investigate how to optimally support children’s bilingual development through home and school-based programs. (




PhD, Harvard University, 2021

EdM, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2014


Dr. Tricia Zucker and Dr. Susan Landry

Research Description

Dr. Surrain’s research focuses on the contextual factors that support and inhibit the bilingual development of dual language learners in early childhood. She is particularly interested in how language environments at home and school support the acquisition and maintenance of minoritized home languages such as Spanish in the United States. Her work primarily draws on naturalistic language data to examine how features of caregiver input and child language use contribute to children’s development in more than one language. 0000-0002-6296-3182 0000-0002-6296-3182