Preschool Language and Literacy

How is preschool language related to later reading?

Since 2019, researchers from the Ladder Lab (at both the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) and City, University of London) have been conducting a large-scale longitudinal research study called the “Preschool Language and Literacy” study. We aim to understand how preschool language and emerging literacy skills are related to later reading ability.

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Why is this research important?

Some hearing children and many deaf children find learning to read challenging. 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.

Many nurseries and schools are already involved in this exciting study but we are hoping to recruit even more nurseries to take part. We are looking for children who are 3 or 4 years old, deaf or hearing, 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:

The project is being run by Dr Fiona Kyle, Prof Ros Herman and Dr Katie Mason. It is funded by a Heather van der Lely Foundation grant awarded to Dr Kyle and Prof Herman.