Back to search results

PhD Studentship: Leaving No Child Behind: Identifying Precursors of Slow Reading and Writing Development

Nottingham Trent University - School of Social Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Nottingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Fees + Stipend (will reflect the published UKRI rate)
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Placed On: 21st November 2022
Closes: 12th January 2023
Reference: S3 6

Project Description 

Reading and writing skills are essential to successful social participation; yet over half a million UK adults failed to develop adequate literacy skills in school (OECD, 2013). This is likely to be exacerbated as a consequence of school closures during COVID-19 (Bowyer-Crane et al., 2021). Those children who struggle to learn how to read and write when instruction starts – in the UK at 3-4 years – will rapidly fall behind. It is therefore crucial to know which child is at risk of falling behind before formal education begins, so that interventions can be put in place immediately rather than retrospectively. Developing reliable screening tools requires overcoming two problems: (a) there is no good understanding of the skills that predict rates of literacy learning; (b) we need ways of measuring these skills that can be used with young children who are not yet able to complete formal tests.

Successful literacy development is not solely the product of exposure to written text but is subject to cognitive factors (Valdois et al., 2004). Existing tests tend to focus on assessing learning outcomes – text comprehension, for example – and so only detect children who have already fallen behind. Pre-school screening requires age-appropriate measurement of precursors of the skills that make learning possible, such as the ability to co-ordinate eye movements, phonological awareness, hand co-ordination and visual/auditory attention. However, current assessment of such skills has used tests designed for older children, and hence assess children who may have already fallen behind (e.g., Bellocchi et al., 2013; Facoetti et al., 2003; Thomson & Jarmulowicz, 2016).

This project will examine abilities prior to formal instruction in reading and writing to enable us to determine links to later literacy outcomes. Early screening for those indicators of literacy success will identify children who are at-risk of developing literacy difficulties. The proposed PhD project will initiate the long-term aim to develop a suite of age-appropriate tasks measuring basic cognitive abilities that correlate with literacy learning.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to

  • work with leading experts in language and literacy to produce a project that has the potential to make a real difference in children who have reading and writing difficulty.
  • contribute to the knowledge about predictors of literacy learning with a strong cognitive-theoretical basis and develop innovative testing methods with a potential for direct application.
  • collaborate with the Norwegian National Reading Centre at the University of Stavanger.

Supervisory Team:

DoS: Dr Jens Roeser (Research Fellow): Research with focus on the psycholinguistics of language production (in particular writing), eye-tracking, keystroke logging and Bayesian statistical modelling. https://www.ntu.ac.uk/staff-profiles/social-sciences/dr-jens-roeser - jens.roeser@ntu.ac.uk

Dr Mark Torrance (Associate Professor / Reader): Long track record of research and PhD supervision in the cognitive and educational psychology of written production - mark.torrance@ntu.ac.uk

Prof Gary Jones: Focuses on language development and how our experience of language shapes our language learning - gary.jones@ntu.ac.uk

The proposed supervisory team combines expertise in literary research – including early-years literacy development, statistical learning, psycholinguistics, experimental methods in cognitive psychology and advanced statistical analysis.

Funding Notes

Fees + Stipend (will reflect the published UKRI rate)

Apply

For further information and to apply for this position please visit here and scroll down to select the specific studentship you are applying for. 

We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:

Subject Area(s):

Location(s):

PhD tools
 

PhD Alert Created

Job Alert Created

Your PhD alert has been successfully created for this search.

Your job alert has been successfully created for this search.

Ok Ok

PhD Alert Created

Job Alert Created

Your PhD alert has been successfully created for this search.

Your job alert has been successfully created for this search.

Manage your job alerts Manage your job alerts

Account Verification Missing

In order to create multiple job alerts, you must first verify your email address to complete your account creation

Request verification email Request verification email

jobs.ac.uk Account Required

In order to create multiple alerts, you must create a jobs.ac.uk jobseeker account

Create Account Create Account

Alert Creation Failed

Unfortunately, your account is currently blocked. Please login to unblock your account.

Email Address Blocked

We received a delivery failure message when attempting to send you an email and therefore your email address has been blocked. You will not receive job alerts until your email address is unblocked. To do so, please choose from one of the two options below.

Max Alerts Reached

A maximum of 5 Job Alerts can be created against your account. Please remove an existing alert in order to create this new Job Alert

Manage your job alerts Manage your job alerts

Creation Failed

Unfortunately, your alert was not created at this time. Please try again.

Ok Ok

Create PhD Alert

Create Job Alert

When you create this PhD alert we will email you a selection of PhDs matching your criteria.When you create this job alert we will email you a selection of jobs matching your criteria. Our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy apply to this service. Any personal data you provide in setting up this alert is processed in accordance with our Privacy Notice

Create PhD Alert

Create Job Alert

When you create this PhD alert we will email you a selection of PhDs matching your criteria.When you create this job alert we will email you a selection of jobs matching your criteria. Our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy apply to this service. Any personal data you provide in setting up this alert is processed in accordance with our Privacy Notice

 
 
 
More PhDs like this
Join in and follow us

Browser Upgrade Recommended

jobs.ac.uk has been optimised for the latest browsers.

For the best user experience, we recommend viewing jobs.ac.uk on one of the following:

Google Chrome Firefox Microsoft Edge