The long-term aim of my research is improving how children who are at risk of developing speech and language problems are identified as early in life as possible. The challenge in this research is to be able to accurately differentiate children with language learning difficulties from those who begin to talk late but then catch up with children of their own age. To this end, Stephanie Stokes and I recently completed a research project funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, the aims of which were to identify demographic, behavioral, socio-emotional, linguistic and psycholinguistic factors that contribute to variability in toddlers’ early language development. We are currently conducting a large-scale study (Marsden Fund, Royal Society of New Zealand) investigating a set of factors in typically-developing and late talking toddlers that may serve as indicators of risk for more persistent language learning difficulties. I am also interested in helping develop effective interventions for young children who have difficulty communicating. Another long-standing area of interest involves examining children’s spontaneously produced language from an evidence-based perspective in order to improve clinical diagnosis of language disorders.