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Literacy development
Some of my research in reading development has been conducted in collaboration with Prof Kate Nation (Oxford) and Dr Holly Joseph (Reading). For example, we have shown experimentally that so-called “Age of Acquisition” effects in word reading (i.e. the fact that the age at which a word is first encountered affects the way it is later processed as a mature reader) can result from the order in which words are encountered during learning: if we teach participants new words via passive reading exposure, early exposed words are subsequently read differently from later exposed words. This speaks against accounts of reading development where Age-of-Acquisition results from changing brain plasticity in developing readers, or where these effects are an epiphenomena due to other statistical properties (which were all controlled in the study). We have also conducted various eye-tracking experiments exploring children’s reading of syntactically ambiguous sentences. We were particularly interested in the relationship between children’s online processing (as revealed by eye movements) and offline comprehension. I also collaborate with Anna Samara https://languagelearninglab-ucl.com/meet-the-team/ on a program of research exploring the role of statistical learning in spelling development.
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