Dr. Gigi Luk

Associate Professor
Dr. Gigi Luk
Contact Information
Email address: 
gigi.luk [at] mcgill.ca

Education Building
3700 McTavish Street
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1Y2

Educational and Counselling Psychology (ECP)
Areas of expertise: 
  • Bilingualism
  • Literacy acquisition
  • Lifespan development
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Language development

Gigi Luk is Associate Professor at McGill University. Her research on the cognitive consequences of bilingualism extends across the lifespan. In addition to investigating the science of bilingualism, Luk has examined how to harness scientific findings on bilingualism to improve educational experience for children from diverse language backgrounds. In particular, she has established a research program with a scientific goal aiming to understand the cognitive processes and their underlying neural mechanisms relevant to bilingualism; and a practical goal aiming to promote a culturally responsive environment in educational settings, cultivating respect and inclusion for linguistic diversity.

These two goals guide her research program into three directions: (1) characterizing bilingualism beyond English proficiency in schools and in communities; (2) examining bilingualism and cognitive skills supporting language and literacy outcomes; and (3) establishing the neural correlates of learning new information in learners with diverse language experiences. Her work is currently supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Fonds de recherche Société et culture (FRQSC). Luk obtained her Ph. D. in Developmental and Cognitive Psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rotman Research Institute at the Baycrest Center in Toronto. She was at the Harvard Graduate School of Education between 2011-2018. She joined the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University in 2019.

  • Ph. D., Psychology (Developmental and Cognitive Processes) Faculty of Health, York University, Canada
  • M. A., Psychology (Developmental and Cognitive Processes) Faculty of Health, York University, Canada
  • Specialized Honors B. A., in Psychology, Faculty of Arts, York University, Canada
Awards, honours, and fellowships: 
  • National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship (2013-2014)
Selected publications: 
  • Luk, G. (2022). Justice and equity for whom? Reframing research on the “bilingual (dis)advantage.” Applied Psycholinguistics, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716422000339
  • *Kirby, A. L., *Dahbi, M., Surrain, S., Rowe, M. L., & Luk, G. (2022). Music Uses in Preschool Classrooms in the U.S.: A Multiple-Methods Study. Early Childhood Education Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-022-01309-2
  • Luk, G., & Grundy, J. G. (2022). The Importance of Recognizing Social Contexts in Research on Bilingualism. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728922000177
  • Luk, G., & Rothman, J. (2022). Experience-based individual differences modulate language, mind and brain outcomes in multilinguals. Brain and Language, 228, 105107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2022.105107
  • *Macdonald, D., Luk, G., & Quintin, E.-M. (2022). Early Reading Comprehension Intervention for Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Hyperlexia. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 52(4), 1652–1672. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-021-05057-x
  • Mancilla-Martinez, J., *Oh, M. H., Luk, G., & Rollins, A. (2022). Language and Special Education Status: 2009–2019 Tennessee Trends. Educational Researcher, 0013189X221077208. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X221077208
  • *Oh, J. H. J., Bertone, A., & Luk, G. (2022). Multilingual experience and executive functions among children and adolescents in a multilingual city. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 0(0), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2022.2093098
  • Rowe, M. L., *Kirby, A. L., *Dahbi, M., & Luk, G. (2022). Promoting Language and Literacy Skills through Music in Early Childhood Classrooms. The Reading Teacher, trtr.2155. https://doi.org/10.1002/trtr.2155
  • *Smith, S. A., *Leon Guerrero, S., *Surrain, S., & Luk, G. (2022). Phonetic discrimination, phonological awareness, and pre-literacy skills in Spanish–English dual language preschoolers. Journal of Child Language, 49(1), 80–113. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000920000768
  • *Leon Guerrero, S., & Luk, G. (2021). Synergetic Themes in Cognitive and Sociocultural Bilingualism Research: Moving Towards a Transdisciplinary Approach. In L. Sánchez, E. Bauer, & Y. Ugawa (Eds.), Enhancing Bilingual Education: A Transdisciplinary Lens for Improving Learning in Bilingual Contexts. Routledge.
  • *Partika, A., Johnson, A. D., Phillips, D. A., Luk, G., & Dericks, A. (2021). Dual language supports for dual language learners? Exploring preschool classroom instructional supports for DLLs’ early learning outcomes. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 56, 124–138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2021.03.011
Graduate supervision: 

Accepting students for 2023-24

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