To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy

Academic staff in the School's Speech and Language Therapy team share research expertise in adult and child speech, language and communication disorders, swallowing and voice disorders, voice care, bilingualism, language acquisition, stammering, clinical phonetics and phonology and e-voice tools.

Dr Ian Crookston is a Senior Lecturer and has a PhD in Syntactic Theory. His research interests focus on the structure of language in context.

Naomi De Graff is a Senior Lecturer and is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist with clinical and research interests in the field of adult acquired neurology. She works in the community setting, seeing people with complex swallowing and communication impairments post stroke.

Dr Sarah James is a Principal Lecturer and is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. Her PhD considered the implications that using the telephone can have for people who stammer. Sarah is a member of the British Stammering Association Research Committee. She has research interests in the role of self-report in clinical practice and in disorders of fluency and currently combines these in a project evaluating the use of Ecological Momentary Assessment with people who stammer.

Jenny Landells is a Senior Lecturer and is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. Jenny specialises in children with Specific Language Impairment and her research interests have recently broadened into the field of SLCN within the criminal justice population. In conjunction with the West Yorkshire Probation Trust, she has recently conducted a feasibility study into the communication skills of service users attending probation services.

Lorette Porter is a senior lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy and is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. Lorette has specialised in children with Specific Language Impairment and children with Autism.

Dr Nicole Whitworth is a Senior Lecturer and has a PhD in the acquisition of speech timing in late and early bilinguals. Her research interests are in the areas of clinical phonetics and phonology, acoustic phonetics, speech technology, as well as bilingual and monolingual language acquisition. Nicole is currently researching babbling in infants with early language acquisition by children with Down syndrome. She also is involved in several projects looking at the factors that determine individual’s ability to learn new sounds, i.e. the influence of self-efficacy, perceived-difficulty, and cross-modal integration capability. Nicole is currently editing a book on methods in teaching clinical phonetics and linguistics. She is the treasurer and membership secretary of the British Association of Clinical Linguistics (BACL).

Current Research Activities

Network for Tuning Standards and Quality of Education programmes in Speech and Language Therapy across Europe (NetQues)
Member of NetQues which has a partnership of 65 partners representing all 27 EU member states plus partners from Liechtenstein, Norway and the EU-candidate countries of Iceland and Turkey. The three-year long network project (2010-2013) is funded by ERASMUSENWA Life Long Learning Programme. NetQues aims to address the needs of tuning speech and language therapist / logopaedist education in Europe through defining educational benchmarks and sharing best practice in teaching, learning and assessment.

Perceived Self-Efficacy & Phonetic Aptitude
Some students find it difficult to do well in phonetics. However, the reasons for this difficulty are still poorly understood, as are the factors which might affect performance in phonetics. Some studies have focussed on specific phonetics- related skills and have suggested that students who do better in phonetics might have enhanced musical ability, good auditory discrimination abilities, or more effective short term memories. In contrast, this study focuses on the more general notion of self-efficacy in relation to attainment in phonetics. The study is carried out in collaboration with researchers from the Department of Language and Communication Science, City University London.

Babbling in Babies with Down Syndrome
Few studies have looked at the early phonetic development in children with Down syndrome. Using acoustic and auditory analysis, this 4-year longitudinal exploratory study aims to plot the changes in the speech of two children with Down syndrome (DS) from age 1;0 until age 5;0 and to identify developmental phonetic features that are common to both children’s speech acquisition.

Staff at Leeds Beckett