I’m Emily. I’m a research student in the Psychology department and I’m in the final year of my PhD in children’s reading development. Through my research I’ve created a new type of reading intervention for children which teaches them about aspects of suprasegmental phonology. This refers to the rhythmic components of language such as stress, intonation and timing, etc.
My first study implemented the new rhythmic-based intervention in a group of reception children (aged 4-5 years), comparing the effects of rhythmic training to the effects of a traditional phonological approach and to a control group. Results were promising, illustrating that children who were exposed to the new rhythmic intervention improved at a greater rate than the control group on measures of reading performance.
In July, I presented the results of this first study at the 20th Annual International Conference for the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The experience was amazing! There were academics there from all over the world – its very surreal realising that you’re in the same room as people whose books and papers you’ve read and cited! My talk received some positive feedback – its always great to hear that people are interested in your work! The conference was fantastic, AND we had chance to see all the sights as well! I can’t figure out how to add photos here, but there are some on my blog at http://emilyharrisonphdblog.wordpress.com/