Child Language Research Group | Te Reo o te Tamaiti

Student and Child undergoing evaluation

The University of Canterbury Child Language Research Group conducts research on children's speech and language development and related abilities.

We cover a broad range of topics within child speech and language with a focus on supporting children with difficulties to achieve optimal outcomes.  One of our main interests is adult-child interaction in the early years, and within this, assessment and intervention practices which can support adults to enhance childrens' communication development.

We also provide research training to postgraduate students at the Master's and PhD levels and to undergraduate students who are in their final year of study.

Our home academic department is the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing and we are affiliated with the New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain & Behaviour (NZILBB), Child Well-being Institute, New Zealand Speech Therapy Association (NZSTA) and International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC).

Jayne Newbury

Director, Child Language Research Group
Internal Phone: 95798

Dean Sutherland

Associate Professor
Associate Professor
Internal Phone: 95090

Toby Macrae

Senior Lecturer
Internal Phone: 91062

Catherine Theys

Associate Professor
MSLP Programme Director & Year 1 Coordinator

Catherine Moran

Tumu Tuarua Akoranga
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic
Matariki L6
Internal Phone: 94168

Susan Foster-Cohen

Child Language

We have a fully equipped child development facility with participant parking, wheel-chair / pram access, kitchen facilities, toilet, and baby changing area. We have one-way mirrors, discreet video cameras, and a computerized direct observation data capture-analysis system.

  • Development of a psychometrically validated child-directed speech measure
  • New Zealand parents / caregivers of Deaf and hard of hearing children’s knowledge and beliefs about child language development
  • Early childhood teachers’ contribution to child language development in NZ: What do they know, what do they do, and does it differ depending on the socioeconomic status of the children?
  • New Zealand parental perceptions of diagnosis of developmental language disorder
  • New Zealand Parents’ Awareness, Use and Satisfaction of Supports Available For Children with Language and Literacy Disorders
  • New Zealand parent / caregiver perspective on support services for Deaf and hard of hearing children
  • Cultural perceptions of language development in a New Zealand sample of parents of 54 month old children
  • Cross cultural comparisons of language outcomes of children with moderate to profound hearing loss who received cochlear implants with those who received hearing aids in New Zealand
  • Speech and self regulation outcomes for children with speech sound disorder following speech language assistant delivered intervention
  • Multisensory processing in children with autism

Past research

  • An Intervention Programme for 3;0 to 4;0-Year-Old Children with Co-Occurring Speech and Language Disorders
  • New Zealand parents / caregivers’ knowledge and beliefs about child language development
  • Speech language pathologists' practices of parent involvement in children's speech and language intervention funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • A pilot study of the effects of the Way-to-Play Training Programme in supporting communication and social engagement of parents and their children with autism
  •  Predicting child language outcomes using child responses in parent child interaction between 2-4 years 
  • Supporting early childhood teachers to facilitate children's emergent literacy and oral language development
  • Exploring early childhood teachers' beliefs and practices in emergent literacy: Does practice vary by the socioeconomic status of the children?
  • Multilingual practice ith children with speech and language disorders
  • Predicting reading disorders in a clinical sample of children with language disorder (in collaboration with Professor Laura Justice)
  • The effectiveness of video self-modelling with children with autism in the home environment
  • Teacher and student experiences of remote microphone systems in primary school classrooms
  • The efficacy of computer-assisted reading comprehension intervention for children with autism
YearFunding agencyProject
2011-2014 Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand Learning to Talk UOC-1003
(Thomas Klee, Stephanie Stokes and Catherine Moran)

Physical address

School of Psychology Speech and Hearing
Psychology/Sociology Building Room 162A
University of Canterbury
Christchurch 8041
New Zealand

Postal address

The Child Language Research Group 
School of Psychology Speech and Hearing
Private Bag 4800
University of Canterbury
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand