Patricia CleavePhD


Cleave, Pat

Phone: 902-494-5157
Fax: 902-494-5151
Mailing Address: 
Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
5850 College Street
2nd Floor, Room 2C01
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 4R2


Dr. Patricia L. Cleave is a professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders where she has been a faculty member since 1995. She holds certification as a speech-language pathologist from Speech-Language Audiology Canada (SAC). Dr. Cleave’s research interests focus on the language and literacy skills of children with specific language impairment and Down syndrome. This work has included treatment efficacy studies and studies into the nature of monolingual and bilingual language development in these populations.

Dr. Cleave is currently the principal investigator of a multi-site study investigating the development of discourse skills, including conversational, narrative and expository skills, in monolingual and bilingual school-aged children. This project is funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Dr. Cleave is an Associate Editor for the journal Applied Psycholinguistics and has previously served in the same role for the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. In addition, she is the President of the Speech and Hearing Association of Nova Scotia (SHANS).



  • BA, Psychology, McMaster University
  • BSW, Social Work, McMaster University
  • MClSc, Speech-Language Pathology, University of Western Ontario
  • PhD, Speech-Language Pathology, University of Kansas

Research interests

  • Language disorders and language-based literacy disorders
  • Treatment efficacy
  • Specific language impairment
  • Down syndrome


  • CMSD 5270: Language Disorders in Preschool Children
  • CMSD 6470: Language Disorders in School Age Children
  • CMSD 6980: Research Design

Selected publications

  • Pesco, D., MacLeod, A. A., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cleave, P. L., Trudeau, N., de Valenzuela, J., Cain, K., Marinova-Todd, S. H., Colozzo, P., Stahl, H., Segers, E., & Verhoeven, L. (in press). A multi-site review of policies affecting opportunities for children with developmental disabilities to become bilingual. Journal of Communication Disorders.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., Joshi, N., & Cleave, P. L. (in press). Testing the reliability of the expository scoring scheme. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E. & Cleave, P. (2016). Mothers' talk to children with Down syndrome, language impairment, or typical development about familiar and unfamiliar nouns and verbs. Journal of Child Language. Available on CJO 2015 doi:10.1017/S0305000915000434
  • Rezzonico, S., Chen, X., Cleave, P., Greenberg, J., Hipfner-Boucher, K., Johnson, C., Milburn, T., Pelletier, J., Weitzman, E., & Girolametto, L. (2015). Oral Narratives in Monolingual and Bilingual Children Preschoolers with SLI.  International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 50, 830-841.
  • Cleave, P., Becker, S. D., Curran, M. K., Owen Van Horne, A. J., & Fey, M. E. (2015). The Efficacy of Recasts in Language Intervention: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, 237-255.
  • Stich, M., Girolametto, L. E., Johnson, C. J., Cleave, P. L. & Chen, X. (2015). Contextual Effects on the Conversations of Mothers and their Children with SLI. Applied Psycholinguistics. 
  • Cleave, P., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Trudeau, N., & Sutton, A. (2014). Syntactic bootstrapping in children with Down syndrome: The impact of bilingualism. Journal of Communication Disorders, 43, 42-54.
  • Deacon, S. H., Cleave, P. L., Baylis, J., Fraser, J., Ingram, E., & Perlmutter, S. (2014). The representation of roots in the spelling of children with Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Learning Disabilities.
  • Cleave, P.L., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Czutrin, R., & Smith, L. (2012). A Longitudinal Study of Narrative Development in Down Syndrome. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 50, 332-342.
  • Cleave, P. L., Kay-Raining  Bird, E., & Bourassa, D. C. (2011). Developing phonological awareness skills in children with Down syndrome. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 35, 332-343.
  • Dench, C., Cleave, P. L., Tagak, J., & Beddard, J. (2011). The Development of an Inuktitut and English Language Screening Tool in Nunavut. Canadian Journal of Speech-language Pathology and Audiology, 35, 168-176.
  • Trudeau, N., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Sutton, A., & Cleave, P.L. (2011). Développement lexical chez les enfants bilingues ayant le syndrome de Down. Enfance,3, 383-404.
  • Lamont, J., Girolametto, L., Johnson, C. J., Chen, X., & Cleave, P. L. (2011). Emergent Literacy Skills of Preschoolers with Language Disorders: Monolingual English versus Dual Language Learners. Canadian Journal of Speech-language Pathology and Audiology, 35, 286-289.
  • Cleave, P. L., Girolametto, L. E., Chen, X., & Johnson, C. J. (2010). Narrative abilities children with specific language impairment: The impact of bilingualism. Journal of Communication Disorders, 43, 511-522.
  • Pile, E., Girolametto, L., Johnson, C., Chen, X., & Cleave, P. L. (2010). Shared Book Reading Intervention for Children with Language Disorders: Randomized Clinical Trial. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 34, 96-109.
  • Cleave, P. L. (2009). Literacy Development in Individuals with Down Syndrome. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 16, 104-108.

Awards and honours