Language Development and Disorders (LDD): research projects

Research studies

AMPs: Assessment of metapragmatics. Metapragmatic ability in children with pragmatic language impairments: exploring its potential as a mediator of intervention.


Our understanding of the nature of pragmatic language impairment has now reached a stage at which researchers are ready to develop tools to move to an important stage of enquiry: how to promote well-being in these children and their families by facilitating communication. In order to target this intervention accurately, it is necessary to seek out treatment mediating factors; that is specific, identifiable factors in the intervention which are critical to progress. In this project we propose to study one likely candidate for mediation in intervention: metapragmatic ability.

Duration of the project

April 2007 - January 2009

Funding body

ESRC small grant

Members of the project

Dr Catherine AdamsPrincipal investigator
Dr Elaine LocktonCo-investigator
Ms Anna CollinsResearch assistant

This study has three main aims:

  1. to develop a reliable and valid metapragmatic assessment procedure for use with school-age children
  2. to profile metapragmatic abilities of a group of children with pragmatic language impairments and compare these to a group of children with typical language development and to a group of children with specific language impairment
  3. to study the role of metapragmatic ability as a mediating variable in a parallel intervention study for children with pragmatic language impairments