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    Personal profile

    Research Interests

    Reading; Writing; Literacy; Dyslexia; Neurodiversities; Motivation; Self-Efficacy, Phonology; Morphology; Language impairment


    I joined Coventry University in 2014, and was promoted to professor in 2016. Prior to that I was an associate professor at the University of Warwick. I completed my DPhil in York in 2001.

    I have always been interested in language development and language difficulties, both in spoken and written language. Much of my research focuses on difficulties in spoken and written language. In recent years I have also become interested in the lived experience of having dyslexia and other neurodiversities, and in the role of motivation, engagement and self-belief in academic progress. 

    I lead the Development, Engagement and Attainment theme within GLEA. My work there is particularly focused on trying to understand the reasons behind the underachievement of individuals with dyslexia and other language based difficulties, and trying to improve outcomes for these groups. My work suggests that a wide range of interacting factors, environmental, cognitive and emotional, need to be considered to support improved progress.

    Vision Statement

    My research concerns language and literacy development. I am particularly interested in how spoken language skills and written language skills are linked. For example, why do some (but not all) children with spoken language impairments show reading impairments? Can oral language skills be used to improve reading and writing? My most recent research concerns the phonological and morphological skills of children with dyslexia and children with hearing impairments. I hope that my work can provide a research basis for more effective literacy support for children in schools.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 4 - Quality Education

    Education/Academic qualification

    Psychology, Doctorate, The Development of Phononlogical Awareness in Preschool Children, University of York

    Award Date: 1 Jul 2002

    Psychology and Philosophy, Degree, University of Oxford

    Award Date: 1 Aug 1998

    External positions

    Director, Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (PATOSS)

    1 Jan 2022 → …

    External Examiner, University of York

    1 Sept 20211 Sept 2025

    External Examiner, Nottingham Trent University

    1 May 20211 May 2023


    • BF Psychology
    • Dyslexia
    • reading
    • Literacy
    • Writing
    • Language
    • neurodiversity
    • motivation
    • self-efficacy


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