Meet Elizabeth Wonnacott

liz_proppedBroadly speaking, I am interested in how we learn language. My research has focused on the role of statistical learning in language development and how learning processes shape human languages. I am interested in the learning of both first and further languages, in children and adults, and in processes involved in learning and processing both spoken and written languages. I am also interested in the educational implications for modern foreign language instruction, particularly in the primary school years.  

From a theoretical perspective, I have recently become interested in whether human language may be understood in terms of discriminative learning — a well understood theory of learning developed in the study of animal learning. This work is funded by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust.

Short biography

I began (academic) life with an undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 2000. I then moved to the US for a PhD in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester. After getting my PhD in 2006, I moved back to the UK and spent six years as Postdoctoral research fellow at University of Oxford, followed by two years as an Assistant Professor at University of Warwick. I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Education at University of Oxford, and a Supernumerary Fellow at St. Johns College.

Contact details
email Email
home Department of Education – University of Oxford
15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY, United Kingdom
calendar Book a meeting with Liz at the Department of Education
podcast-icon-1322239_1280 Listen to the UCL’s “What works?” podcast where Liz discusses language science, development and her research career with Sophie Scott
podcast-icon-1322239_1280 Meet Liz on Oxford’s web page