Nicole Law

I am a DPhil student in the Department of Education supervised by Dr Elizabeth Wonnacott and Dr Kate Nation.

I am interested in exploring the statistical learning mechanism and how it relates to children/adults learning written languages. I am especially fascinated by the use of artificial language paradigms in language research. Before starting my DPhil here at Oxford, I worked on a project that examines the relationship between theory of mind, executive function and literacy in school-aged children with autism. My experience has inspired me to continue my research on language acquisition and hope that we could bring more positive impacts to children with special educational needs through our research.

My favourite word

My favourite childhood book

My favourite word is “schwa”, which refers to the vowel sound /ə/. The reason behind this is that schwa is a vowel sound that is never stressed. Being a student can sometimes be stressful with coursework, your own research and personal life, so in a way, I aspire to be like schwa that is never stressed and take things as they come! Worrying too much will never help with the situation!

As cliché as it sounds, my favourite childhood book is the first book in the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. While the rest of the series is just as brilliant, there is nothing that can beat the first book when you were first introduced to the magical Hogwarts and the HP world. It never fails to amaze me how words can inspire so much imagination and creativity!