Department of Education

Rachel Gardner

DPhil Student

College Affiliation: Brasenose College

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research Interests:

– Early language and literacy development
– Language intervention in the early years
– Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Thesis

Efficacy of a whole class early oral language intervention; impact on language, literacy and educational outcomes

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