Students Staff

01 July 2015

Essex launches new research centre to study language from childhood to old age

LaDeLi logo

LaDeLi logo

The University of Essex is to launch a brand new centre to study all aspects of language development from childhood to old age. The Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi) will be the first centre of its kind in the UK.

LaDeLi will pull together the expertise of a number of world-renowned researchers from the University’s Department of Language and Linguistics, which ranks in the top 10 in the UK for its research quality. It will also look to work in an interdisciplinary way with academics from the Department of Psychology, School of Health and Human Sciences and School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering. Research areas within the centre will include early language development; second language learning and teaching; language loss, ageing and impairment. LaDeLi will seek to find answers to questions such as what is the best age to learn a foreign language, how do multiple languages shape our identity and what happens to our language when we suffer from a condition such as Alzheimer’s Disease?

The centre will also aim to provide a platform for collaboration nationally and internationally, and to further develop links with academics, policy makers and practitioners from around the world.

Professor Florence Myles, Director of LaDeLi, said “Language is a uniquely human ability. Explaining how children learn their first languages, how older children and adults learn second languages, and what happens to language as people age and suffer cognitive decline, are central to understanding that ability. The Centre will bring together researchers working in these different areas to exchange ideas, methods and results and to pursue new lines of enquiry.”

LaDeLi will be launched at a public event which will include keynote addresses from Professor Stephen Crain of Macquarie University in Australia, Professor Carmen Mu┼łoz from the University of Barcelona and Professor Loraine Obler from City University of New York. All are world leaders in their field.

Alongside their research, the team at LaDeLi will also develop important resources for use by the global research community and will host events for clinicians, schools, parents, teachers and the general public.

The launch event is on Thursday 2 July 2015 from 9am to 5pm at the University’s Colchester Campus. To book a place email:

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