This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Wednesday 19 June 2019, 5pm to 7pm
  • Location: Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building, Campus West, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Department of Education Inaugural Lectures

Two lectures held back-to-back. 

Professor Emma Marsden

‘A foot in two camps? Working at the research-practice interface in foreign language education.’

We all remember our foreign language lessons. But what determines how foreign languages are taught? What do children pay attention to and learn? And what could we do differently? This talk will review some of the laboratory and classroom-based research carried out by Emma and her colleagues and students, in contexts where exposure to the foreign language is limited to a few hours in classrooms. The aim will be to reflect on the trajectory of this kind of research making its way into the hearts, minds, and classrooms of teachers and reaching the desks of policy-makers.


Professor Sophie von Stumm:

‘Tales from the Hungry Mind’

Why do some children perform better in school than others? Understanding why some children thrive while others struggle in school is the greatest challenge for and responsibility of psychological science. In her inaugural lecture, Professor Sophie von Stumm will tackle this deceivingly simple question and review the plethora of ideas and approaches that drive her research. Her findings shed light on the interplay between personality traits and ability factors in the prediction of learning; the importance of early life experiences and family background for cognitive development; and the powerful effect of genetic factors on school performance.

Professor Emma Marsden and Professor Sophie von Stumm

Professor Emma Marsden is the Director of the National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy. Her research has focused on three inter-connected areas: the learning and teaching of grammar; how learners process the input they hear and read; and the nature and roles of different types of knowledge. She also works on several projects related to methods, design and open science. She seeks to engage with teachers, teacher educators and policy-makers to increase their awareness of and involvement in research, and to increase the relevance of her work to classroom teaching. Emma is in-coming Editor of Language Learning.

Professor Sophie von Stumm directs the Hungry Mind Lab at the Department of Education at the University of York, where she studies the causes and consequences of individual differences in lifespan cognitive development. In particular, Sophie focuses on the effects of early life environments on children’s cognitive and verbal development; the role of personality traits like curiosity and imagination for learning; and the relationship between genome-wide polygenic scores and educational attainment. Sophie has published more than 50 articles and book chapters, developed two research smartphone apps, and is recipient of a Jacobs Foundation Fellowship 2017-2019.

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop


Sara Dace-Hughes