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Marina Puglisi

Visiting Newton International Fellow

Research Summary

My main research interests are in understanding how language development is affected by factors both intrinsic and extrinsic to the child in order to develop effective interventions.

As a speech-language therapist, I became interested in studying the clinical profile of children with specific language impairment. Following my PhD, I joined a collaborative multi-centre research group exploring environmental effects on language and cognition, particularly the influence of socioeconomic circumstances. The findings led me to want to focus on the importance of early language intervention in order to reduce the risks of language developmental disorders. Since then I’ve been working with Maggie Snowling and colleagues to develop language intervention programmes that are culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate for Brazilian children living in disadvantaged communities. These programmes share the same theoretical basis as the Nuffield Early Language Programme. 

I am currently running randomised clinical trials in Brazilian schools to evaluate the effects of these interventions in low SES environments. In one study, my colleagues and I are investigating the effectiveness of two early classroom-based interventions on school readiness: one with the focus on language and the other on training executive functions. I have also been awarded a Royal Society/British Academy Newton Fellowship to explore whether early language intervention in small-group settings reduces the risk of language disorders in children from disadvantaged backgrounds.


I am a speech-language therapist with expertise in child language and children with language developmental disorders. I hold a PhD in rehabilitation sciences and a postdoctoral degree, both at the School of Medicine of the University of São Paulo. I am an Assistant Professor at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) and I am currently working at the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher.