Professor Kate Cain


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. Recent work has confirmed that these skills predict reading comprehension development between 8 to 11 years.

Current and recent research projects

  • The language bases of reading comprehension (funded by IES), more details about LARRC here:
  • The influence of morphological awareness on learning to read in English and Chinese (funded by ESRC and the RGC Hong Kong), more details here:
  • Language and literacy profiles of children with rolandic epilepsy (funded by The Waterloo Foundation), more details here:
  • Developing reading comprehension in the classroom (funded by the British Academy)
  • Use of corpus methods to investigate the language environment of typically and atypically developing children (funded by ESRC), for more details about the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science see here:
  • Opportunities for bilingualism in preschool and school-aged children with developmental disabilities (funded by SSHRC).