Dr Laura Shapiro

Laura Shapiro

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Research interests

I am interested in the relationship between pre-school cognitive skills and instruction on early reading progress, and in particular, the relative importance of general auditory skills and specific speech skills in beginning and intermediate stages of reading. My main approach is to conduct longitudinal studies with large, heterogeneous samples of beginning readers in order to build models of the relationship between underlying skills and reading. I am fortunate to have received generous support for these projects. Previous work was supported by the ESRC and British Academy, in collaboration with Julia Carroll and Jonathan Solity. Current projects include:

The Aston Literacy Project, a four year ESRC funded project, with Research Fellow Anna Cunningham, PhD student Kate Swoboda and Co-Investigators Caroline Witton, Joel Talcott, Kim Rochelle and Adrian Burgess. See the ALP website for more details.

The Reading Comprehension Project, with Research Assistant Salma Kadiri and Co-Investigator Selma Babayigit. Our aim is to examine which skills (e.g., vocabulary, grammar and memory) are most important for reading comprehension in children from diverse home language backgrounds. See the Reading Comprehension website for more details.


I am also interested in how children learn to categorise objects and how adults store and access this knowledge. This research is supported by an ESRC studentship to Julia Badger and a research grant from Twycross Zoo Education Department.

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Clinical and Systems Neuroscience

Organisational unit: School

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