Accessibility statement

Dr Jelena O'Reilly



I have been an Associate Lecturer in Psychology in Education (Teaching and Scholarship) since February 2020, following a completion of my PhD in the same Department. Alongside my PhD, I also worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) in the Department for a number of years.

I obtained my BA and MA degrees from the University of Zagreb, majoring in English Language and Linguistics (with a focus on teaching). Prior to coming to York to do my PhD, I worked as a TESOL teacher and Director of Studies at a foreign languages school in Zagreb, Croatia.

My PhD research focused on second language acquisition of morpho-syntax, focusing on the processing and production of English article and tense-aspect. More recently, my research interests have expanded to other aspects of language, and I have worked on projects involving the development of child language, both first and second/foreign.

In addition to teaching and research, I am interested in academic mental health, especially in PhD student and have given a number of invited talks on the topic. As part of my current role (scholarship), I am also hoping to work on improving the training provisions for our Department’s GTAs.



I teach/have taught on a range of modules.


  • Researching Psychology in Education
  • Learner Development and Socialisation
  • Fundamentals of Psychology in Education
  • Introduction to Disciplines of Education
  • Key Concepts of Education
  • Skills for Studying Psychology
  • Educational Diversity: Exploring Individual Needs and Differences


  • English Linguistics
  • Learning through Language
  • Research Methods
  • TESOL Methods
  • Qualitative / Quantitative Data Analysis Workshops



I am interested in various aspects of language learning and development. I have particularly focused on the processing and acquisition of second language morpho-syntax in both adults and children. More recently, I have worked on a project investigating the impact on early life experiences on child language and behaviour development.

I am currently working with a colleague from the University of Costa Rica on a project which explores foreign language anxiety in international university students and its impact on student engagement with online learning.

O'Reilly, J., d'Apice, K., & von Stumm, S. (under review). Predicting developmental outcomes in middle childhood from early life language and parenting experiences. Developmental Psychology. Preprint:

O’Reilly, J. & Jakupcevic, E. (under review). An exploration of target L2 morphemes in oral production by young EFL learners in Croatia. Language Learning and Development.

O’Reilly, J. & Roberts, L. (in progress). Online processing and production of L2 English articles by L1 Mandarin and L1 Croatian speakers. Applied Psycholinguistics.

O’Reilly, J. & Garcia Castro, V. (data collection in progress). An exploration of foreign language anxiety in university students studying online triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal TBC.


I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students on a range of topics related to language and psychology in education.

External activities

Invited talks and conferences

Talks student and practitioner audiences

O’Reilly, J. (2018). Looking after your mental health while doing a PhD. Invited talk for the Department of Environment and the Department of Health Sciences, University of York.

O’Reilly, J. (2018, July). Student mental health. Talk given to visiting university students on a course at the Centre for Global Programmes, University of York.

O’Reilly, J. (2017, June). Research methods in linguistic research. Talk given to visiting teacher trainees on a course at the Centre for Global Programmes, University of York.

O’Reilly, J. (2017, August). Learning English as a second language. Talk given to visiting university students on a course at the Centre for Global Programmes, University of York.

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD