Ward, Rebecca

Rebecca Ward
Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Systematic Linguistic Profile of Welsh English Bilinguals with Down Syndrome
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Eirini Sanoudaki
Supervising school:
Canolfan Ymchwil i Ddwyieithrwydd,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

My thesis explores the language profile of bilingual children with Down syndrome and aims to build the first systematic profile of Welsh/English bilinguals by identifying strengths and weaknesses in development. Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder, however, little is known about bilingual language acquisition for this population and the potential language outcomes that may be achieved by these children. Parents are often advised against exposing their children to a second language, however, this recommendation is not evidence-based. The research questions are as follows:

    • What are the language abilities in this population?
    • How does development of the two languages in bilinguals with down syndrome compare to development in monolinguals with down syndrome and typically developing children?

This project will aim to enhance our understanding of the language profile of individuals with Down syndrome in general and will provide new insights which will have important implications for educational policies and clinical practice for these populations.

Conference Presentations and Posters:
Ward, R. & Sanoudaki, E. (2018) Profiling Language Abilities in Bilinguals with Down Syndrome. Oral Presentation at the Down Syndrome Research Forum, 17-18th September, Reading University.

Ward, R. & Sanoudaki, E. (2018) Language development of bilingual children with Down syndrome in Wales. Oral presentation at the International Conference on Welsh Studies (NAASWCH), 25 -27 July 2018, Bangor University.

Ward, R. & Sanoudaki, E. (2017) Bilingualism and Down syndrome: Evaluating the developmental trajectory of language and phonological awareness. Invited speaker at the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group: Annual Winter Meeting; November 3rd, 2017, London, UK.

Ward, R. & Sanoudaki, E. (2017) Bilingualism in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Wales: An Investigation of Advice Received and Family Practices. Poster Presented at the International Symposium of Bilingualism, Limerick, Ireland.