School of Education

Leeds Centre for Interdisciplinary Childhood and Youth Research

Events

PGR poster conference

The Language Development & Cognition satellite is hosting a mini poster conference to give PhD students the opportunity to showcase their research.

  • DATE: Wednesday 15th of March
  • TIME: 12:00-13:30
  • PLACE: LHRI (29-31 Clarendon Place)

All welcome!  There will be tea/coffee and “home made” biscuits.

Preliminary programme:

  • How does prioritisation and probe frequency affect visual working memory in children?

Amy Atkinson – School of Psychology (Supervisors: Richard Allen and Amanda Waterman)

  • Do task-relevant stimuli arrangements boost working memory performance in children?

Ed Berry – School of Psychology (Supervisor: Amanda Waterman)

  • The Role of Syntactic Priming in Auditory Word Identification

Basma Elkhafif – School of Psychology (Supervisor: Jelena Havelka)

  • A pilot study examining academic reading comprehension skills in EFL students

Handan Lu – School of Education (Supervisors: Richard Badger; Shirley Anne-Paul)

  • Do italics facilitate processing of contrastive focus?

Chris Norton  – Linguistics & Phonetics (Supervisors: Cat Davies and Diane Nelson)

  • The Language Profile of the Born in Bradford cohort

Lydia Gunning – School of Psychology (Supervisor: Ekaterini Klepousniotou)

  • Effects of verb-semantic and discourse-contextual information in the interpretation of reflexive ziji by (English-L1) L2 learners of Chinese

Mengling Xu  – Linguistics & Phonetics (Supervisor: Cecile De Cat)

 

 

This entry was posted in Events, Language Development and Cognition satellite.

Sadler Seminar workshop: Quantifying bilingualism

There will be a workshop on Quantifying Bilingual Experience on Thursday 13th of October in Seminar Room 1 at the LHRI.

All cordially invited.

9:00-10:00 Language dominance based on a questionnaire for parents of bilingual children (PABIQ): child bilingualism in France

Philippe Prévost and Laurie Tuller (University of Tours, France)

10:00-11:00 Quantifying bilingual experience: using the (U)BiLEC to estimate input quantity and quality

Sharon Unsworth (University of Nijmegen, NL)

11:00-12:00 The Bilingual Profile Index: a gradient measure of bilingual experience

Cécile De Cat (University of Leeds) and Ludovica Serratrice (University of Reading)

This workshop is part of a Sadler Seminar Series on “Young Bilinguals and their Language of Schooling”. This Sadler Seminar series, funded by the Leeds Humanities Research Institute, brings together psychologists, education specialists and linguists to explore issues related to the assessment of bilingual children’s proficiency in the language of schooling how to measure the amount and quality of bilinguals’ experience in each of their languages the complex relationships between language proficiency, cognitive development and well-being intervention programmes aiming to support bilingual children’s language development.

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Sadler Seminar series on “Young bilinguals and their language of schooling”

(In England, 19.4% of the primary school population have a mother tongue other than English (Statistical First Release January 2015). Yet, in an increasingly multicultural UK society we still  know very little about the linguistic skills of children growing up with more than one language. Language proficiency has an impact on children’s ability to learn (spanning all aspects of the curriculum) and on their current and future ability to integrate in society.

This seminar series, funded by the Leeds Humanities Research Institute, brings together psychologists, education specialists and linguists to explore issues related to

  • the assessment of bilingual children’s proficiency in the language of schooling;
  • how to measure the amount and quality of bilinguals’ experience in each of their languages;
  • the complex relationships between language proficiency, cognitive development and well-being;
  • intervention programmes aiming to support bilingual children’s language development.

The talks listed below will all take place in Seminar Room 1 at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute.  The generous amount of time scheduled for each session is to allow time for informal discussion after the talk(s).  All welcome.

Programme:
Presenters TITLES (scroll down for abstracts)
13-Oct 9:00-12:00 Philippe Prévost and Laurie Tuller (University of Tours, France) Language dominance based on a questionnaire for parents of bilingual children (PABIQ): child bilingualism in France
Sharon Unsworth (University of Nijmegen, NL) Quantifying bilingual experience: using the (U)BiLEC to estimate input quantity and quality
Cécile De Cat (University of Leeds) and Ludovica Serratrice (University of Reading) The Bilingual Profile Index: a gradient measure of bilingual experience
09-Nov 2:00-2:30 Ekaterini Klepousniotou and Amanda Waterman (University of Leeds) Planning for language testing in the Born in Bradford cohort
2:30-3:30 Meesha Warmington (University of Sheffiled) Cognition in Bilinguals: Comparative Evidence from the UK and India.
23-Nov 1:30-2:30 Allegra Cattani (University of Plymouth) Every bilingual child is different: Effect of exposure and additional language on the vocabulary at age 2
07-Dec 2:00-3:00 Silke Fricke (University of Sheffield) Early Language Intervention for Children learning English as an Additional Language
3:15-4:15 Claudine Bowyer-Crane (University of Sheffield) Development of a vocabulary screener for young children speaking multiple languages
26-Jan 2:00-4:00 Victoria Murphy (University of Oxford) Developing and supporting vocabulary knowledge in EAL pupils

Abstracts:

  • “Quantifying bilingualism” workshop: Researchers from three labs will present their methodology to quantify bilingualism in light of its purpose (e.g. distinguishing bilingual children with a language developmental disorders from bilingual children with a normal delay due to reduced exposure). This is the first step towards establishing a common denominator to quantify bilingualism across data sets, and to identify aspects of language proficiency that could be investigated using this common measure.
  • Ekaterini Klepousniotou & Amanda Waterman: The Born in Bradford longitudinal cohort study is following the lives of over 13,500 children and their families to learn how we can improve health and educational outcomes. A huge range of data are being collected, including lifestyle information, SES, genetic information, biomarkers, environmental factors, health records, and education records. In addition we are running a cognitive/motor test battery on all the children that measures sensorimotor processes and executive function. In addition to this, nested studies will be run within the cohort to look at other key cognitive constructs including speech and language abilities. This is particularly interesting in the BIB cohort given the ethnic diversity within Bradford, with half the cohort having South East Asian heritage, and therefore raising interesting questions about bilingualism.
  • Meesha Warmington: This talk explores whether substantial evidence exists to support claims that bilingualism has systematic and enduring consequences for neuro-cognitive functioning. Employing multiple exemplar tasks I will present behavioural data regarding the aspects of executive control that are privileged in bilingualism, based on data from Hindi-English bilingual children living in the UK and India.
  • Allegra Cattani: Monolingual and bilingual toddlers have an equal chance to be born with developmental language disorders, bilingual toddlers do not have an equal opportunity to be identified given that the current assessment tests are tailored for monolinguals but are not sensitive to bilingual toddlers. Multiple factors are exploited to accurately quantify the bilingual experience of young children in the lexical comprehension and production.  The most robust predictor of English and Additional Language (AL) was found for exposure to English, which positively predicts both comprehension and production in the English lexicon.  The presentation is aimed at guiding health professionals and educators with step-by-step explanation to determine the percentage of the time a toddler hears English and subsequently to be able to interpret the performance on standardised tests.
  • Silke Fricke: Successful literacy development and educational attainment involves more than learning to decode words. In order to follow the curriculum and acquire new knowledge and skills, children must understand the language used by teachers as well as understand what they read. Oral language skills are therefore important for children’s communication, literacy development, and school participation. The talk will focus on boosting oral language as a foundation for literacy in the Early Years (UK nursery and Reception) so children build a stronger oral language foundation for entering school. It will draw on different school-based work from relevant research projects in the UK. While different populations of pupils (e.g. monolingual children with language weaknesses) will be considered the focus will be on children learning English as an additional language (EAL). The talk will emphasize the importance as well as challenges of early interventions to provide children with EAL with a secure language foundation for school participation. Conclusions are drawn for the practice of supporting oral language in preschool settings.
  • Claudine Bowyer-Crane: The number of children in UK primary schools learning English as an additional language is growing. A consistent achievement gap is found in national assessments of language and literacy between children learning EAL and their monolingual peers at the early stages of schooling. Support for these pupils is vital. However, in order to provide the right support it is important to identify those children who have a language impairment from those who may simply need more exposure to English. This paper will highlight some of the issues around the assessment children learning English as an Additional Language with a particular focus on vocabulary. Drawing on recent research, the paper will discuss the importance of assessing children in both their first and second languages and the challenge this poses for practitioners. The paper will demonstrate a newly developed task for assessing receptive vocabulary in a child’s home language which is designed to be used by practitioners and researchers working with children learning EAL.
  • Victoria Murphy: The developing language and literacy skills of children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) is a global concern given increasing numbers of children are being educated through the medium of English without having English as their home or native language. One of the key factors that has been shown to predict both reading and writing in primary school children is vocabulary knowledge. When considering the role of vocabulary in literacy development both researchers and teachers typically examine vocabulary breadth. In this presentation, I will discuss other dimensions of vocabulary knowledge (i.e., vocabulary depth) which includes collocational, idiomatic and metaphorical dimensions of lexis. I will present the results of research examining the nature and possible development of these more extended and figurative aspects of vocabulary knowledge in bilingual children and discuss the role that this type of lexis might play in developing reading and writing skills in primary school children with EAL. The discussion of these findings will be contextualised within both theoretical and applied implications.

This entry was posted in Events, Language Development and Cognition satellite, News.

CONFERENCE: Child and Youth Poverty: Contexts, concepts and consequences

A one-day conference, hosted by the Leeds Centre for Interdisciplinary Childhood and Youth Research

September 16th 2016 – University of Leeds

The Leeds Centre for Interdisciplinary Childhood and Youth Research is pleased to announce our inaugural conference which will gather together researchers from multiple disciplines who are all concerned with child and youth poverty.

For more information about the conference, please see the conference page

Registration information

The conference is intended to be affordable and inclusive, enabling delegates from a range of fields and career stages to attend.

The standard rate fee is £45 per person and the rate for students / the unwaged is £15. This includes lunch and refreshments, and delegates are invited to join us after the conference at the free wine reception.

Registration for this event is now closed.

This entry was posted in Events.

FREE EVENT: Enduring Inequalities and New Agendas for Widening Participation in Higher Education: Student Access, Mobilities and ‘Success’

Centre members Dr Sharon Elley and Dr Kim Allen are hosting a one-day conference entitled Enduring Inequalities and New Agendas for Widening Participation in Higher Education: Student Access, Mobilities and ‘Success’ on the 27th July, 2016 at the University of Leeds.

This free-event will include presentations from a range of leading experts in the field of research into higher education inequalities and consider enduring and emerging challenges for Widening Participation within the current policy landscape. It will provide the opportunity to explore the distinctive and diverse experiences of disadvantaged and ‘non-traditional’ students and consider innovative ways to challenge enduring and evolving inequalities through inclusive policies and practices.

For more information and to book a place please follow this link.

This entry was posted in Events, Widening Participation and Educational Engagement Network.

Research Showcase – 6th June

The Language Development & Cognition satellite is holding a research showcase on Monday 6th of June 2016, from 1pm to 5pm in the Coach House (School of Education).  All welcome!

This entry was posted in Events, Language Development and Cognition satellite.

Teenage futures: Parents’ roles and values in contexts of change

Date: 4:00pm. Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Location: Room G.18, School of Education, Hillary Place, University of Leeds

Speaker: Professor Sarah Irwin (Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds and Director of the Centre for Research into Families, the Life Course and Generations).

The current restructuring of educational and labour market arrangements create new inequalities, and new dilemmas, for young people. In this context, what roles do parents play in supporting their teenage children as they approach early adulthood? I will offer an analysis of data generated across three rounds of interviews with parents, from 2008 – 2014, and explore how they support their children, and seek to guide them in decisions about education, training and employment. The qualitative longitudinal data sheds light on parents’ values, and on inequalities in the range of possibilities for drawing on, and mobilising resources, at key moments. Additionally it offers some insights into parental perspectives on the changing structure of opportunity for contemporary young adults as part of a wider analysis of social class and generational transmission in a context of extensive social change.

Sarah has published extensively in the areas of family, parenting, youth and social inequalities.

This entry was posted in Events, Seminar Series, Winter and Spring Terms, 2015-16.

Becoming tyrannous?: A capabilities approach to best interests assessments

Date: 4:00pm. Wednesday, 17th February 2016
Location: G.18 (School of Education, Hillary Place, University of Leeds)

Prof. Michael Thomson (School of Law, University of Leeds)

The Children Act 1989 sets out that the welfare of the child must be the paramount consideration in any decision made with regard to the upbringing of a child. This ‘best interests standard’ has become a core principle of welfare law. At the same time, what might constitute the best interests of children is given very little formal shape or content. Indeed, it has been argued that the standard is so vague as to be meaningless. Further, the test has been criticised as being too subjective, allowing room for personal prejudice in decision-making, and operating to advance parental and professional interests over the child’s best interests. Notwithstanding such criticism, no satisfactory alternative framework has been forthcoming.

The Capabilities Approach proposed by Amartya Sen and others provides a theoretically nuanced framework for evaluation and deliberation. It has as its central characteristic a focus on what people are effectively able to ‘be and do’. It is argued that well-being and justice are best conceptualised in terms of people’s capabilities to function; that is, their effective opportunities to undertake the actions and activities that they want to engage in, and be whom they want to be. The approach has recently been interpreted as a normative language; the flexibility of the approach allowing actors to interpret the components of the theory in different settings, and construct context dependent policy narratives. Acknowledging this flexibility and sensitivity to context, this paper argues that the Capabilities Approach can provide a principled decision-making framework for best interests assessments and, indeed, law more generally where the utility of the approach has been under explored.

This entry was posted in Events, Seminar Series, Winter and Spring Terms, 2015-16.

Poor educational outcomes for young people with caring responsibilities

Date: 4:00pm. Wednesday, 25th November 2015
Location: G.18 (School of Education, Hillary Place, University of Leeds)

Dr. Cathy Brennan (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds)

Conservative estimates suggest there are 175,000 children and young people in the UK with caring responsibilities for a dependent relative. The level and type of care varies between families but up to 20% may be caring for 20 hours or more a week and up to 7% for over 50 hours a week. Caring roles in young people have been associated with poor health outcomes and disruption to schooling which may limit opportunities in later life.

This study explored the association between young people identified as carers and their educational achievement using data from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE). The results suggest that a young person’s caring role can have a negative impact on their outcomes in compulsory education. Even given the increased likelihood of disadvantage and health difficulties amongst young carers, they are less likely to achieve a recognised minimum standard of educational attainment and this is likely to impact on future life chances.

This entry was posted in Events, Seminar Series, Winter and Spring Terms, 2015-16.

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