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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre


I am interested in how children perceive spoken language and how this relates to language and literacy development. I completed my PhD at UCL in 2019, supervised by Professor Mairéad MacSweeney and Professor Charles Hulme. My PhD research focussed on the relationship between visual speech perception, phonological awareness and reading in deaf and hearing children. I use techniques such as eyetracking, structural equation modelling and training studies.

I am currently working with Dr Matt Davis on speech perception and language development in children.



I am interested in speech perception in children and how this relates to their reading and language development, in particular for children with reduced access to auditory information, or with phonological difficulties. My interests also include the role of visual speech information in spoken language development.

As a member of the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit Brain Bus team I also enjoy working on interactive neuroscience activities for children.


Key publications: 

Schwarz, J., Li, K. K., Sim, J. H., Zhang, Y., Buchanan-Worster., E, Post, B., Gibson., J. L., McDougall, K. (2022). Semantic cues modulate children’s and adults’ processing of audio-visual face mask speech. Frontiers in psychology.

West, G., Lervåg, A., Snowling, M. J., Buchanan-Worster, E., Duta, M., & Hulme, C. (2022). Early language intervention improves behavioral adjustment in school: Evidence from a cluster randomized trial. Journal of School Psychology, 92, 334–345.

Buchanan-Worster, E., Hulme, C., Dennan, R., & MacSweeney, M. (2021). Speechreading in hearing children can be improved by training. Developmental Science.  - Video abstract (

West, G., Snowling, M. J., Lervag, A., Buchanan-Worster, E., Duta, M., Hall, A., McLachlan, H., & Hulme, C. (2021). Early language screening and intervention can be delivered successfully at scale: Evidence from a cluster randomised controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Buchanan-Worster, E., MacSweeney, M., Pimperton, H., Kyle, F., Harris, M., Beedie, I., Ralph-Lewis, A., & Hulme, C. (2020). Speechreading Ability Is Related to Phonological Awareness and Single-Word Reading in Both Deaf and Hearing Children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 1–11.

Pimperton, H., Kyle, F., Hulme, C., Harris, M., Beedie, I., Ralph-Lewis, A., Worster, E., Rees, R., Donlan, C., MacSweeney, M. (2019). Computerized Speechreading Training for Deaf Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62(8), 2882–2894.

Worster, E., Pimperton, H., Ralph-Lewis, A., Monroy, L., Hulme, C., & MacSweeney, M. (2018). Eye Movements During Visual Speech Perception in Deaf and Hearing Children. Language Learning, 1–21.

Postdoctoral Researcher

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What we do

Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.