Our Research

Starting with just 26 bits of code – 26 letters of the alphabet – we are able to write down our thoughts and ideas in a way such that anybody else who shares our code can also share our thoughts and ideas. The alphabet, along with our writing system more generally, is an amazing invention but it takes time to learn how to use it properly.  Our research is exploring a number of questions about how we read, how children learn to read and write, why it is some children struggle and what can be done to help them.

Some of our research is investigating how children learn to deal with words.  Children make massive progress in reading during their first few years at school. How do they learn to read words and what are the cognitive processes that enable them to move from slow and effortful reading at 5 or 6 years of age to fluent reading just a few years later? Some of our other research projects are tackling comprehension. Reading comprehension is hugely complex. To understand text, children need to do more than recognise or read aloud individual words. They need to retrieve word meanings and integrate them with the material being read, and use background knowledge to make inferences. 

In this project we are exploring how children make progress in reading, once they have mastered the basics of how reading works

Do children's early language skills predict how well they learn to read? Find out here!

Learn how the corpus is helping us understand children's reading development

Most of us are familiar with dyslexia. But did you know that dyslexia was first described over 100 years ago? Our new project will be telling its story.

Visit our academic page here

Take part in the Word Detective Quiz