BBC's Growing Children talks to Nuffield grant-holders about dyslexia

31 August 2012

Two Nuffield Foundation grant-holders are featured in a BBC documentary about dyslexia. Professor Clare Wood and  Professor Usha Goswami are interviewed in Growing Children, in which psychologist Laverne Antrobus explores how growing children are affected by dyslexia through the eyes of children and families affected by it.

Professor Clare Wood talks about her research into text messaging and language development, which has found that children’s use of text abbreviations can have a positive effect on their reading and writing, and may even enhance children’s understanding of conventional spelling.

Professor Wood has also been looking at the relationship between children’s use of ‘text speak’ and their understanding of written and spoken grammar. She will present results from her latest research at the British Psychological Society’s Developmental Section Conference next week.

Laverne also talks to Professor Usha Goswami and her team at the University of Cambridge, who are investigating the relationship between language impairment in children and the ability to process rhythms. Research has shown that children with dyslexia struggle with tapping in time to a beat and with identifying ‘rise time’ – the rate at which sound begins.

Professor Goswami explains that being able to process rhythm is an important component of understanding speech. For example, infants use the rhythmic or prosodic features of language as a key way of identifying words and syllables in a stream of speech. So if the ability to process rhythm is impaired, then this could have a knock-on effect on learning speech and language.

Growing Children is available to watch on BBC iPlayer until Thursday 6 September.