Natalia Rakhlin

Natalia Rakhlin

Associate Professor

5057 Woodward Ave., Room 10303.3

Curriculum vitae



English, Linguistics

Natalia Rakhlin

I am a developmental psycholinguist specializing in child language acquisition and childhood language disorders. I received my Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Connecticut and postdoctoral training at the Yale Medical School Child Study Center, where my research shifted to language disorders.

My goal is to contribute to our understanding of the nature and causes of developmental language disorder, as well as other disorders affecting language development in children who grow up with diverse lingusitic and social experiences. This includes children acquiring diverse languages, children who experience poverty, or children who are institutionalized at a young age. This goal is achievable only if we understand language acquisition in typically developing children, studying which allows us to address some of the most fascinating theoretical questions about the organization of the mind and the relationship between language and other cognitive faculties. My research also has some very practical goals, such as establishing reliable ways of tracking language development and identifying language disorder in children from culturally and linguistically diverse populations, for whom language differences may both mask and mimic language disorder. My most recent work involves acquisition of Arabic, both in native environments and in the diaspora, where children are exposed to a mixed input, consisting of different varieties of spoken Arabic and English in contact with each other. I am interested in understanding the ways in which such linguistic diversity is reflected in the patterns of language acquisition.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

Child language acquisition, developmental language disorders, language and mind


  • Language acquisition in heritage bilinguals: Arabic speakers in Metro Detroit
  • Acquisition of Arabic in the context of diglossia
  • Language disorders
  • Language as a cognitive augmenter

Selected publications

  • Rakhlin, N., Mourgues, C, Logvinenko, T., Kornev. A., & Grigorenko, E. (2022). What reading- level match design reveals about Specific Reading Disability in a transparent orthography and how much we can trust it. Scientific Studies of Reading, 1-18
  • Rakhlin, N. V., Aljughaiman, A., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2021). Assessing language development in Arabic: The Arabic language: Evaluation of Function (ALEF). Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 1-16. PMID: 31076015
    Rakhlin, N., Li, N., Aljughaiman, A., & Grigorenko, E. (2020). Narrative language markers of Arabic language development and impairment. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 1-16. PMID: 32916078
    Rakhlin, N. Grigorenko, E. (2021). Linguistic Diversity: Basic Concepts and Implications for Reading Research. In Handbook of Literacy in Diglossia and Dialectal Contexts - Psycholinguistic and Educational Perspectives. Saiegh-Haddad, E., Laks, L., McBride, C. (eds). Springer
  • Rakhlin, N. & Progovac, L. (2020). Hierarchical clause structure as a tool for cognitive advances in early childhood. Language Sciences, Elsevier
  • Rakhlin, N., Landi, N., Lee, M., Magnuson, J., Naumova, O., *Ovchinnikova, O., Grigorenko, E. (2020). Cohesion of cortical language networks during word processing is predicted by a common polymorphism in the SETBP1 gene. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. Advanced online publication. DOI:10.1002/cad.20331

Courses taught by Natalia Rakhlin

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022