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College of Education

Faculty and Staff

Lucy K. Spence, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Instruction & Teacher Education
College of Education
Phone: 803-777-0501
Fax: 803-777-3193

Wardlaw 229

Lucy Spence


Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and Masters of Education, Arizona State University
Bachelor of Science, Education, Grand Canyon University


Language & Literacy, English learners


Dr. Lucy Spence is an associate professor of Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina. Her research is centered on linguistically diverse student writers and includes the development of a novel writing assessment, Generous Reading. This research has been published in Language Arts, The Reading Teacher, and TESOL Journal. Spence works as a literacy teacher educator and teaches classes on-site in schools across South Carolina. Prior to joining the university faculty, Lucy taught grades K-8 in Arizona. She taught in a reading program, an ESL classroom, and in a media/literacy position in a Spanish dominant community. Spence continues to focus on language and writing as her current research has been conducted in language arts classrooms in Japan.

Selected research studies

Spence, L. & Kite, Y. Time honored tradition meets 21st century literacies: Composition instruction in Japanese elementary schools. In Elementary and Secondary Education 2013. IAFOR 2013. Proceedings. Asian Conference of Education, pages October 22, Osaka, Japan.

Spence, L.K., DeFord, D., Reardon, H. (2012). Spanish speakers writing in an English language pre-kindergarten. In P. L. Dunston, L. B. Gambrell, S. K. Fullerton, P. M. Stecker, V. R. Gillis, & C. C. Bates (Eds.), 61st Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association. Oak Creek, WI: Literacy Research Association.

Selected publications

Spence, L. K. & Cardenas-Cortez, K. (2011). To me, writing means having a voice: Learning to write and teaching writing from a multilingual perspective. TESOL Journal. 2, 1-23.

Spence, L. K. (2010). Discerning writing assessment: Insights into an analytical rubric. Language Arts. 87, 337-347.

Spence, L. K. (2010). Generous reading: Seeing students through their writing. The Reading Teacher. 63, 634-642.

Selected presentations

Spence, L. K. (February, 2011). Assessing the writing of bilingual children. Presented at the National Association of Bilingual Educators Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA.

Spence, L. K. (2013, June). Writing in English as a Second Language. Presented at Kansai University Graduate School, Osaka, Japan.

Selected awards

2013 Visiting Researcher, Kansai University, Osaka, Japan

2011 Provost's Social Science Grant Program, Awardee University of South Carolina

2011 National Conversations on English Learner Education, Participant United States Department of Education

2010 Whole Language Umbrella, Executive Board, elected National Council of Teachers of English


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.