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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Kate Cain supervises 4 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Kate Cain

Professor, Research Group Lead: Language and Literacy

Kate Cain

Lancaster University

Fylde College



Tel: +44 1524 593990

PhD supervision

I am keen to supervise students in the general area of reading and listening comprehension development and difficulties. Current and recently completed PhDs supervised by me have examined a range of topics on language and literacy development including: the role of vocabulary and memory in children's inference making; the role of reader and text characteristics in children's comprehension monitoring; the factors that underpin understanding and production of temporal connectives; the development of oral narrative skills and their relation to later reading ability; how characteristics of readers and text affect comprehension of pronouns and relative clauses.

Research Interests

My research concerns the different cognitive and language-related skills that underpin the development of reading and listening comprehension, both in atypical and typical populations. To date, this work has identified several higher-level skill weaknesses that may be causally linked to poor comprehension, including the ability to generate inferences, knowledge and use of reading strategies, and the ability to construct coherent and integrated narratives. My work has shown that these skills (assessed as oral language skills in preschool and as oral and written language skills in the early school years) predict reading comprehension development. Current projects are examining (a) preschool predictors of early reading acquisition, (b) the structure and predictors of reading comprehension in adolescence, (c) the similarities and differences in reading and learning from print and digital, and (d) engagement and learning from digital reading supplements. 

External Roles

President, Society of the Scientific Study of Reading, 1 January 2022 - present

Elected member governing board of Society for Text and Discourse, 2018 - present

Editor of Scientific Studies of Reading, the journal of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, 1 March 2012 - 28 February 2015

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