My research has involved both developmental and acquired communication problems, the uniting theme being to prove and to improve the effectiveness of speech and language therapy for people with communication problems. Within this, my two main fields of research and teaching have been children with speech sound disorder and intervention for expressive language.
In the area of children with speech sound disorder I have worked on:
- the development of phonological representations - how can we assess imp[licit representations in young children?;
- phonological representations of children with speech disorder - is there evidence that the phonological representations of some children with speech disorder are less specified?;
- the measurement of change and measurement of intelligibility - intelligibility is an important functional aim but it is difficult to measure accurately and quickly;
- the use of phoneme awareness in speech intervention - to what extent is this necessary and possible in pre-literate children?.
In the area of expressive language I am currently involved, together with colleagues from The Universities of Liverpool and Sheffield, in an ESRC funded project into the role of shared reading in language development. I am also interested in the use of complex grammar and the structure of children's narratives and have recently completed an project on priming complex grammar in the narratives of primary school children.
I was involved in the ACTNoW study, (an RCT investigating intervention for people with communication disorders following stroke), with particular responsibility for outcome measurement.
I am a member of the Human Communication, Development and Hearing Division in the School of Health Sciences.
speech sound disorder
speech and language therapy