PhD project

Language development in early childhood: Exploring the quality of interactions with adults and peers

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Application deadline

28 February 2024

A connection between a child’s early language development and the learning environment is well established. What is less clear is how specific environments and experiences affect the linguistic skills of young children with resulting effects on their later conceptual understanding and language use.

Of particular interest in this project will be the quality of interactions and (proto-)conversations. It is envisaged that the project would investigate these emerging skills in the context of play among children developing typically or atypically due to factors such as neurodiversity or socio-economic status.

The focus of interest will be determined through discussion with the student, but possible topics would include: gestures, shared reading, digital technology/personalised books/songs, linguistic variation, late talkers, question use, morphological development or self-regulation.

We invite applications from strong and motivated candidates with backgrounds in a relevant subject, such as Psychology, Psycholinguistics, Linguistics, Speech & Language Therapy or another related discipline.

Diversity statement

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.

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