Latest News

UPDATE for the Preschool Language and Literacy Project  

Hello everyone! We hope you are keeping well and safe in these unprecedented times.  

Due to COVID-19, we paused our project in April this year and unfortunately had to cancel the 2020 data collection. The research team are back now and hoping that the project will continue as planned with the next phase of data collection in spring/summer 2021.   

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone taking part in the study for their participation and support. We will keep you updated with our findings here and on our twitter handle @ladder_lab.  

We will be contacting teachers and parents of children taking part to make plans for the next phase of testing in the new year.   

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on


The Ladder Lab at the 3rd International Conference on Teaching Deaf Learners, 6th-8th November 2019

Members of the Ladder Lab team are over in Haarlem this week presenting our latest research findings at the 3rd International Conference on TEACHING DEAF LEARNERS.  Dr Fiona Kyle is presenting a poster giving the results from the first year of our longitudinal preschool language and literacy project. Here is a PDF copy of the poster:

Prof Ros Herman will be giving an invited keynote about literacy interventions for deaf and hard of hearing children. She will present the findings from our integrated phonics and language reading intervention study. Check back here for more details of our results soon!


“Talking about reading” FREE Ladder Lab event at Finsbury Library

Do you remember how you learned to read? Reading is something we learn in childhood, and is an important aspect of our lives. While many people enjoy reading a good book, for others reading remains a struggle. Come along to this event and learn more about the psychological processes behind learning to read, and the skills that deaf and hearing children need to read fluently. The event combines talks, activities and interactive displays, and will be of interest to anyone interested in learning how we learn to read, and ways to support children’s reading. Parents and professionals, as well as children and young people are especially welcome.

Date: Tuesday, 5th November 2019

Time: 5:00PM – 6.30PM

Location: Finsbury Library, 245 St John Street, London, EC1V4NB Map

BSL/English interpreters will be present to ensure full inclusion for all those attending.

The event is free, but please register and book your ticket through Eventbrite here


Recruitment is completed for our preschool language and literacy study

We have now finished recruitment for our preschool language and literacy study with 3-4 year olds. Thank you very much to all of the nurseries and families who are taking part. Watch this space for updates on our findings and the latest developments with the project!


Now recruiting! Deaf and hearing children aged 3-4

How is preschool language related to later reading ability? As part of a new research project called “Preschool language and literacy” we are looking for nurseries and children to take part and help us answer this important question.

Some hearing children and many deaf children find learning to read challanging. It is therefore important to identify children who may struggle with reading BEFORE they start learning to read. Early identification will help ensure that children who need it have appropriate support as they begin learning to read.

We are looking for deaf and hearing children who are 3-4 years old, use spoken language, and have no significant additional educational needs.

If you are a parent, teacher, or other professional who would like their child or nursery to take part, or if you are looking for more information about the project, please contact us, or download our project flyer here: