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Prof. Maggie Snowling

‘Strong foundations in oral language are the key to educational success globally’

Our research aims to understand the causes of children’s learning difficulties and to develop interventions to ameliorate them.  A primary focus is dyslexia and the impact of oral language difficulties on educational attainments.

We focus on the interface between spoken and written language development and aims to understand both the typical and atypical development of reading.  Current projects address three questions:

(i) The development of children at high risk of dyslexia (either because they have an affected parent or because they have specific language impairment) from age 3 ½ to 9 years.  The primary questions concern the cognitive risk factors observed in the families of these children and their literacy outcomes.

(ii) The effects of interventions to promote oral language skills in preschool and early years and reading skills in older children. 

(iii) The development of literacy in Spanish-speaking children in Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile and more generally in developing countries.

See a recent blog for the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health for a general overview of our research issues.

Our team

Wellcome Language and Reading Project


Led by Professor Maggie Snowling, Professor Charles Hulme and Dr Emma Hayiou-Thomas this six-year longitudinal study from 2007, funded by the Wellcome Trust, investigated the nature of the developmental relationships between dyslexia and specific language impairment (SLI).


Summary of the key findings from the project

Research implications

Implications for dyslexia and for language learning impairments

Research staff

Wellcome Language and Reading Project team

Related research themes