Dr Anna Cunningham

Anna Cunningham

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Research interests

I am currently working as a research fellow on the Aston Literacy Project. This is a four-year ESRC (2011-2015) funded project led by Laura Shapiro (PI), Caroline Witton, Joel Talcott and Adrian Burgess.

The project investigates the relative importance of general auditory skills (perception of non-verbal sounds) and specific speech skills (perception of verbal sounds, otherwise known as phonological awareness) in beginning and intermediate stages of reading.

A large heterogeneous sample of 4-5 year old children at the start of reading acquisition, as well as an older sample of 6-7 year olds will be tested on a range of auditory, phonological and reading measures. The younger sample will be followed up twice, 1 and 2 years after the first testing phase.

The project has 3 main aims:

  1. To examine the predictive strength of tasks with different processing demands and stimulus types (verbal and non-verbal) on reading
  2. To establish whether the pattern of predictors changes between early and intermediate stages of reading development
  3. To investigate the impact of phonological and auditory deficits on reading difficulties in early and middle childhood.

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