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  2. MSc Projects with Vicky Joffe
School of Health Sciences

MSc Projects with Vicky Joffe


General research interests 

My areas of clinical and research expertise and interest include specific language impairment, phonological disorders, the relationship between language and cognition in different client groups including Williams Syndrome and Down’s Syndrome, the interface between education and speech and language therapy and collaborative practice, the relationship between language, metalinguistic awareness and literacy, narrative therapy and language impairment in secondary school age children. I am particularly interested in evidence based practice and effectiveness studies in children and adolescents with language impairments. I am also involved in looking at the long term effects of language impairment and more general special educational needs on the language, literacy, social and emotional functioning and vocational status in adults.

Suggested MSc projects

  • An ESRC-funded research project: Grammatical and lexical abilities of individuals with Williams Syndrome. This research investigates the relationships between cognition and language in individuals with Down’s Syndrome and Williams Syndrome. It explores dissociations in cognition and language as well as within language dissociations (ie. Differential performance on grammar versus lexical tasks) and within grammatical dissociations (i.e. differential performance in regular and irregular past and plural tense).
  • The relationship between oral language ability and reading and writing in children with specific language impairment. This research investigates the reading and spelling abilities of children with specific language impairment. Both decoding and reading comprehension skills are included. This research also explores the effectiveness of various strategies to enhance literacy and language such as visualisation and summarisation. This research work also involves the investigation of the long term impacts of language impairment on the later individual’s functioning with a focus on social, emotional and vocational development.
  • A Nuffield-funded research project: Enhancing language and communication in secondary school children with specific language impairment through two intervention programmes: narrative and vocabulary enrichment. This research programme involves working with teachers and learning support assistants in secondary schools. It incorporates various levels of language support for language impaired secondary school students and investigates the effectives of storytelling and vocabulary enrichment programmes delivered by learning support assistants.

Previous MSc projects supervised

  • Social anxiety in adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome
  • An exploration of visual imagery training on development of reading comprehension in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
  • The effects of narrative therapy on language ability in children with specific language impairment.
  • An investigation into the verbal and non-verbal abilities of individuals with Williams Syndrome

Key words

Specific language impairment, collaborative practice, evidence based practice in the secondary school context, language and literacy, language and cognition