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Who are we?

This project is led by researchers from the Language Development Lab within WaRKs Group at the University of Warwick in collaboration with researchers in the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism at the University of Reading.

Dr Kate Messenger

Principal InvestigatorDr Kate Messenger

I have always enjoyed studying languages – my undergraduate degree at the University of Lancaster was in French Studies and Linguistics. This led me from learning languages to the study of how we learn languages as adults and as children, and a Masters in Developmental Linguisitics at the University of Edinburgh. There I also completed my PhD research in children’s language acquisition. Now based at the University of Warwick, I am interested in people's, especially learners', ability to understand and produce sentences and how these abilities are acquired; I spend lots of time in local nurseries and our campus lab carrying out describing games with preschoolers to find out more about these processes!

Prof. Ludovica Serratrice

Prof. Ludo Serratrice

Co-Principal Investigator

I have qualifications in simultaneous interpretation, language and literature, and linguistics. After obtaining my PhD at the University of Edinburgh with a dissertation on the bilingual acquisition of Italian and English in pre-school children, I moved to the University of Manchester where I worked for 16 years conducting research on monolingual and bilingual acquisition and lecturing on the BSc Speech and Language Therapy degree. In 2016 I moved to Reading where I hold a professorship in multilingualism and teach on the MSci Speech and Language Therapy degree.

Since May 2018 I have been the director of the Centre of Literacy and Multilingualism. My research interests include language acquisition and processing in pre-school and school-age children, and I am passionate about co-producing research with teachers and speech and language therapists working with EAL learners.

Dr Marta Wesierska

Dr Marta Wesierska

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

My main research interests focus on investigating how children who speak two languages develop their language and reading abilities as well as the relationships between their two languages. My current research focuses on how Polish-English bilingual pupils learn grammar which I investigate by playing various language games with children including taking turns to describe pictures in Polish and English.

Vanessa Cieplinska

Vanessa Cieplinska

Post-graduate Research Assistant

As a bilingual myself, I have always had a keen interest in exploring bilingual language acquisition. I graduated from The University of Warwick in 2020 with a BSc in Psychology, which has provided me with great insight into language learning. My current research project involves studying Polish-English bilingual pupils’ grammar in everyday language use.