Accessibility statement

Dr Dea Nielsen



I am a Research Fellow for the Better Start Bradford Innovation Hub in Bradford, although I am based in York at the Department of Education. Better Start Bradford is a large-scale early intervention project that aims to provide a range of interventions to families of children aged 0-3 within parts of the Bradford community. The role of the Innovation Hub is to evaluate these interventions, and I work in collaboration with Dr Claudine Bowyer-Crane and others to consider those interventions aimed at improving children’s language and communication development.

Prior to starting this role, I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield, where I also worked as a University Teacher. The focus of my thesis was on the development of language and literacy skills in young children learning English as an Additional language (EAL). This longitudinal project examined EAL children’s skills from preschool through to early education, and compared the literacy skills and the predictors of these skills for monolingual and EAL children. I have also been involved with research projects considering language learning in children with Down syndrome, typical and atypical literacy development, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.



My research interests include

  • Children’s language development
  • Literacy development
  • Bilingualism and multilingualism in childhood
  • Early intervention

Research group(s)


Selected publications

Burgoyne, K., Duff, F. J., Nielsen, D., Ulicheva, A., & Snowling, M. J. (2016). Bilingualism and Biliteracy in Down Syndrome: Insights From a Case Study. Language Learning, 66(4), 945-971.

Monk, A. F., Jackson, D., Nielsen, D., Jefferies, E., & Olivier, P. (2011). N-backer: An auditory n-back task with automatic scoring of spoken responses. Behaviour Research Methods, 43 (3), 888-896.

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322442