Accessibility statement

Dr Jelena O'Reilly



I have been a 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. & García-Castro, V. (2022). Exploring the relationship between foreign language anxiety and students’ online engagement at UK universities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Language Learning in Higher Education, 12(2), 409-427.

Von Stumm, S., O’Reilly, J., & d’Apice, K. (2022). Predicting developmental outcomes in middle childhood from early life language and parenting experiences. British Journal of Developmental Psychology,

García-Castro, V., & O’Reilly, J. (2022). Foreign Language Anxiety and online engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic: a comparison between EMI and FMI university students. English Teaching & Learning.

O’Reilly, J. (May 2022). Reaction-time methods. In A. Parrish & G. Shaikh (Eds.), A quick guide to research methods for dissertations in Education. Bloomsbury.


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

In preparation

O’Reilly, J., O’Reilly, D., & Roberts, L. (2024, accepted for Special Issue). Processing tense/aspect agreement violations on-line: A replication of Roberts and Liszka (2013) with L1 Mandarin and L1 Croatian learners of L2 English. Studies in Second Language Acquisition.

O’Reilly, J. & Snape, N. (in preparation). Systematic review and metaanalysis of metalinguistic and oral production tasks in English articles research.

Research group(s)


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

External activities

Invited talks and conferences

Academic audiences

O’Reilly, J. & Garcia-Castro, V. (2022, September). Foreign Language Anxiety and Online Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic: a Comparison Between EMI and FMI University Students in Costa Rica. Paper presented at British Association for Applied Linguistics conference, Belfast, NI.

O’Reilly, J. (2018, September). L2 English article use by speakers of article-lacking Croatian and Mandarin Chinese: similarities and differences. Paper presented at the 28th Conference of the European Second Language Association, WWU Munster, Germany.

O’Reilly, J. (2018, September). Online processing of English articles by L1 Mandarin and L1 Croatian L2 learners of English. Poster presented at CoNSALL: Cognitive Neuroscience of Second and Artificial Language Learning, University of Bangor, UK.

O’Reilly, J. (2014, May). Vocabulary learning: Differences in teacher and student perceptions. Paper presented at Individuals in Contexts: Psychology of Language Learning, University of Graz, Austria.

Talks student and practitioner audiences

O’Reilly, J. & Wands-Murray, L. (2021, 2022). Looking after your mental health in academia. Research festival, University of York

O’Reilly, J. (2020-21). Repeated invited panellist for ‘Surviving your PhD’ workshops. RETT, University of York

O’Reilly, J. (2020). Thesis writing management. Invited panellist for the online platform Scientistt.

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. (2017, June). Research methods in linguistic research. Talk given to visiting teacher trainees on a course at Global Opportunities, University of York.

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD