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Kari-Anne B. Næss

Professor in special education specialized in speech language pathology, Department of Special Needs Education

My research is related to speech, language and reading difficulties and interventions within different clinical groups. Vocabulary interventions have been the main topic over the last years, including picture book dialogues, systematic broad based word training and statistical learning. I am eager to find the most efficacious vocabulary intervention for children with language impairments.

I emphasis methodological quality and my research has been innovative in terms of development of technological tools and infrastructure related to digital interventions and tracking of real time data. This has made it possible to look into new research questions regarding the language learning processes in children with language impairment. 


Crina Damsa 
Associate Professor, Department of Education

How do students learn by working together? How does the formal education system help them make sense of what and how to learn? How do they learn and find their ways through the myriad of resources in the different contexts of their lives, and how do novel technologies support this process?

These questions inform my research of learning in complex environments, primarily in higher education contexts. I study collaborative learning and the way pedagogy and technology are configured to support such learning. My newest research interests are guiding empirical and conceptual efforts towards understanding learning ecologies, wherein people navigate and construct their epistemic environments, and configure various resources or tools in order to learn. With this research, I also aim at developing technology-supported methods for collecting and analysing multimodal data. Insights from this research will inform educational approaches that help learners to configure learning trajectories that are meaningful for them and, in various ways, useful to the society.  

Janne von Koss Torkildsen
Professor of Speech-language pathology, Institutt for spesialpedagogikk

I am interested in the cognitive and neural foundations of language acquisition. How do implicit learning mechanisms contribute to language development? Why do most children learn language effortlessly, while some experience great difficulties? By studying how the learning process unfolds in real time, using behavioral and neuroscientific methods, I hope to gain some insight into the workings of the developing language system. Based on this basic research, I have also developed a vocabulary training program for children together with colleagues at the Department of Special Needs Education. We are currently investigating the effects of this program in a randomized controlled trial.

Former participants

Monica Melby-Lervåg

Professor, Department of Special Needs Education

The focus of my research is language and reading development in children. I am also interested in how children develop mathematical skills and the relationship between numeracy and literacy. To gain knowledge about this, me and my collaborators do different types of studies: We synthesize research in systematic reviews, we trace large cohorts of children over time and we do interventions in kindergartens and schools to prevent and ameliorate difficulties in language, literacy and numeracy. We are interested not only in children in developed countries but also in developing countries. My motivation to do research is to do studies of the highest scientific quality that can contribute to change children’s life because they can be used to develop interventions for children that are struggling.

Joshua Lawrence
Professor - Department of Education

My research has focused on using experimental, quasi-experimental and longitudinal methods to understand the impact of improved academic discussion on reading comprehension across the academic disciplines. My most recent work (website here) focuses on understanding the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension, and specifically what sorts of word characteristics mediate this relationship. In the coming years I will work on better documenting what we mean by the term "academic disciplines" and test the relationship between vocabulary and reading across academic domains.

Published Dec. 20, 2017 3:08 PM - Last modified Sep. 13, 2021 12:09 PM