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Dr Julie Radford
House 24
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
25 Woburn Square
  • Senior Lecturer
  • IOE - Psychology & Human Development
  • UCL Institute of Education
UCL Principal Supervisor

I am an Associate Professor of Special and Inclusive Education. My career began in a primary school where I opened a resource provision for children with speech and language needs. I later worked for a local authority in an advisory role training SENCos and head teachers about the first Code of Practice for children with special educational needs.

Since joining the Institute in 1998, I started my PhD with Judy Ireson and Merle Mahon. Using Conversation Analysis, I explored how specialist language teachers implement classroom activities for children with speech and language needs. Since completing this, most of my research has addressed how interactions between children and teachers support learning  in the classroom. I have developed a unique qualitative framework for the analysis of classroom talk that is based on scaffolding and includes the components 'turn-taking', 'topic' and 'repair'.

More recently, I have been interested in the nature of teaching assistant interactions. I have supervised several students in this area and have written a book recently with Paula Bosanquet and Rob Webster for teaching assistants about scaffolding. Another area of research concerns how children with language difficulties use strategies to communicate effectively.

Research Groups
Research Summary
Topics of interest in recent projects have explored the following: 
1. How questions are designed and taken up by children with special needs in the classroom (co-construction of topic). 
2. How troubles are dealt with in classroom talk (through repair) and how this helps language learning. 
3. How teaching assistants use initiation and feedback moves to scaffold children's learning.
4. The perceptions of teaching assistants about scaffolding practices.
5. How children with speech and language needs use non-verbal resources to communicate in the classroom.
6. How SENCos are supported by managers in primary and secondary schools in   the UK and Ireland.

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