Dr Cristina McKean
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6528
- Address: Room 2.18a
School of Education, Communication & Language Sciences
King George VI Building
Queen Victoria Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
I am a Lecturer and Speech and Language Therapist, with experience of working with children with a wide range of Speech Language and Comunication Needs (SLCN) and of working in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals.
This experience motivates my interests as a practitioner, lecturer and a researcher.
I qualifed as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1989 from Manchester Polytechnic (now MMU). Since that time I have worked as a specialist and a senior specialist in a number of educational and healthcare settings focussing mainly on the pre-school and early primary years. My main areas of clinical experience and expertise are in supporting children with Language Impairment and Autistic Spectrum Conditions and in working collaboratively with parents, carers and other members of the multi-disciplinary team.
I came to Newcastle to study for the MSc in Human Communication Sciences in 2003 and have never really left. I returned to study with a raft of questions arising directly from my clinical work and was bitten by the research bug and motivated to continue in research by the need to develop a strong evidence base for the SLT profession.
Through research in partnership with clinicians, educational practitioners, students and families I aim to contribute to finding ways to reduce the disabling effects of speech language and communication needs on an individual’s life.
Roles and Responsibilities
Deputy Chair of Working Group ‘Understanding the delivery of interventions for LI across Europe and beyond’ European COST Action IS1406
Editor of the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, official Journal of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
PhD Speech Sciences – January 2010, Newcastle University
MSc Human Communication Sciences – Degree with Distinction 2005, Newcastle University
BSc Speech Pathology and Therapy – Degree with Distinction 1989 Manchester Polytechnic
Registered Member of the Health Professions Council
Registered Member Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
My work is motivated by the desire to improve the quality of life of individuals with developmental speech and language difficulties. I aim to contribute to finding ways to reduce the disabling effects of speech, language and communication needs on an individual’s life and to influence policy-makers to tackle the social exclusion which often accompanies such difficulties.
I advocate the application of a developmental emergent approach to our understanding of developmental language difficulties and argue that we need to reframe our current conceptualisations of these difficulties by placing the process of development itself at the core of our understanding.
My research focusses on 3 main areas.
1. Understanding the developmental trajectories of children with and without language difficulties, in order to:
- understand the nature of the emergence of developmental language difficulties across development
- uncover interactions between risks and protective factors
- harness this information for interventions for children at risk and with language difficulties
2. Interactions between lexical and phonological knowledge and learning in children with language difficulties
3. Theoretically motivated interventions for children with developmental language problems. Particularly the application of constructivist/usage based approaches to language acquisition to the design of speech and language therapy interventions.
I am a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language in Melbourne (MCRI) https://www.mcri.edu.au/research/centres/centre-research-excellence-child-language. I am currently using the ELVS longitudinal cohort to explore the developmental trajectories of children with and without language difficulties, in order to further our understanding of the emergence of developmental language skills and difficulties across development
I am one of the team conducting Phase one of the Every Toddler Talking programme. This is a key initiative of the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training’s Early Years Strategic Plan 2014-2020 to improve language and communication outcomes for babies and toddlers. Every Toddler Talking will strengthen early childhood educators’ ability to promote children’s language development (birth to three) and improve collaboration between early childhood educators, allied health and other early childhood professionals. http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/about/department/earlyyearsstratplan.pdf
Phase One of Every Toddler Talking is a review of evidence-based practices internationally and current practices in Victoria to inform the design of the Every Toddler Talking trial. The Department has partnered with Murdoch Children's Research Institute to conduct Phase One, which includes a survey and in-depth interviews. http://blogs.rch.org.au/ccch/2015/02/12/survey-every-toddler-talking/
I also continue to work in partnership with Dr Sean Pert & Dr Carol Stow, SLTs who worked in Rochdale, to develop and evaluate a theoretically motivated language intervention based on usage-based approaches to language acquisition (The BEST programme - Building Early Sentences Therapy).
I am also collaborating with Professor James Law, a number of colleagues in North Tyneside Local Authority, and the North Tyneside Speech and Language Therapy Service on the 'Language for All' programme of research. As the first step in this programme we are exploring the multi-agency pathway for children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs at both a systems and a social-relational level, and mapping that pathway to current "best evidence".
Lexical & phonological knowledge:
I have published on the nature of the developing lexicon in children with and without language impairments, focussing on developmental change and interactivity in lexical and phonological knowledge and processing.
I aim to further develop this work to consider how lexical and processing difficulties may interact over developmental time with other aspects of learning to create the broader language profiles found in children with Language Impairments.
Juliane Hasselaar (completed 2014)
Katalin Tamasi (IDEALab http://em-idealab.com)
May 2015: Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victorian Government (AUS$150,000); Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, (AUS$50,000); "Language for Learning Follow Up Study". Wake, M., Goldfeld, S., Levickis, P., Reilly, S., Law, J., McKean, C., Mensah, F., Le, H. (AUS$200,000)
January 2015: Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victorian Government, Australia. "'Every Toddler Talking' Literature and Practice Review: approaches to supporting language and communication for children birth to age three." Reilly, S., West, S., Fry, R., McKean, C., Levickis, P., McDonald, M., Wale, M., Goldfeld, S., Hackworth, N., Elek, C. (£42, 373).
January 2015: NHMRC: Extension to Post-doctoral Fellowship, Centre for Research Excellence in Child Language, MCRI. (£8, 631)
September 2013: NHRMC: Post-doctoral Fellowship, Centre for Research Excellence in Child Language, MCRI. (£46, 130)
July 2013: HASS Faculty Research Fund & North Tyneside LA. "Co-constructing an intervention to promote 'Language for All': understanding the multi-agency pathway for children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (Law, J., McKean, C., Cockerill, M., Allon-Smith, J., Robinson, K., Alexander, G.)(£20, 000)
July 2013: HEIF "Building Early Sentences Therapy: the BEST language intervention for young children with severe language difficulties. A usage based, cross-linguistic therapy." (McKean, C., Pert, S., Stow, C.) (£10, 000)
November 2009: Knowledge Transfer Partnership with North Tyneside Local Authority "Understanding what matters most: exploring profiles and trajectories of development and learning from the early years to formal education." (James, D., Close, G., Wesolowski, K., McKean, C.)(£133, 000).
January 2010: ECLS School Research Fund "First steps towards usage-based Speech and Language Therapy: exploratory data from a novel assessment and therapy approach" (McKean, C.)(£5700).
July 2005: ESRC Postgraduate Studentship (Open Competition) “Investigating the development of a developmental disorder: mapping change and early deficits in Specific Language Impairment”. (McKean, C.)(£48150)
July 2005: Newcastle University ECLS Postgraduate Research Student Bursary (McKean, C.)(£3000)
Child Language and Development
Cases: Childhood Speech Language and Communication Difficulties
Issues in Developmental Language Difficulties
Cases: Exceptional Development
UG Dissertation supervision
Child Language and Development
Cases: Childhood Speech Language and Communication Difficulties
Masters Extended Case Supervision
Masters Dissertation Supervision
- Conway L, Levickis P, Smith K, McKean C, Mensah F, Reilly S. Associations between expressive and receptive language and internalising and externalising behaviours in a community-based prospective study of slow-to-talk toddlers. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2017. In Press.
- McKean C, Law J, Laing K, Cockerill M, Allon-Smith J, McCartney E, Forbes J. A qualitative case study in the social capital of co-professional collaborative co-practice for children with speech language and communication needs. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 2016, (ePub ahead of Print).
- McKean C, Law J, Mensah F, Eadie P, Frazer K, Reilly S. Predicting meaningful differences in school-entry language skills from child and family factors measured at 12 months of age. International Journal of Early Childhood 2016, (ePub ahead of Print).
- McKean C, Eastwood-Wraith D, Mensah F, Reilly S. Making Sense of Change in Language Development: defining subgroups and underpinning mechanisms in language trajectories. 2015. In Preparation.
- McKean C, Reilly S, Bavin E, Bretherton L, Cini E, Conway L, Cook F, Eadie P, Prior M, Wake M, Mensah F. Language outcomes at 7 years: early predictors and co-occurring difficulties. Pediatrics 2017, 139(3), e20161684.
- Tamasi K, McKean C, Gafos A, Fritzsche T, Hohle B. Pupillometry registers toddlers' sensitivity to degrees of mispronunciation. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 2017, 153, 140–148.
- McKean C, Law J, Morgan A, Reilly S. Childhood Language Impairment. In: S,Rueschemeyer;G,Gaskell, ed. Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Submitted.
- Reilly S, Roseby C, McKean C, Goldfeld S, Law J, Mensah F, Lecivkis P. Taking the ‘specific’ out of language impairment. Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language, 2016. Research Snapshot 6.
- King T, McKean C, Rush R, Westrupp E, Mensah F, Reilly S, Law J. Acquisition of Maternal Education and its Relation to Single Word Reading in Middle Childhood: An Analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study. Merrill Palmer Quarterly 2017, 63(2). In Press.
- Reilly S, McKean C, Morgan A, Wake M. Pre-school speech, language and fluency impairments: Best practice in identification and management. Advances in Pediatrics 2016. In Press.
- McKean C, Mensah F, Eadie P, Bavin E, Bretherton L, Cini E, Reilly S. Levers for Language Growth: Characteristics and Predictors of Language Trajectories between 4 and 7 Years. PLoS One 2015, 10(8), e0134251.
- Reilly S, McKean C, Morgan A, Wake M. Clinical Review: Identifying and managing common childhood language and speech impairments. British Medical Journal 2015, 350, h2318.
- Binti Faizal S, Khattab G, McKean C. The Qur’an Lexicon Project: A database of lexical statistics and phonotactic probabilities for 19,286 contextually and phonetically transcribed types in Qur’anic Arabic. In: Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. 2015, Glasgow, UK: the University of Glasgow.
- Reilly S, Tomblin B, Law J, McKean C, Mensah FK, Morgan A, Goldfeld S, Nicholson JM, Wake M. Specific language impairment: a convenient label for whom?. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 2014, 49(4), 416-451.
- McKean C, Letts CA, Howard D. Triggering word learning in children with Language Impairment: The effect of phonotactic probability and neighbourhood density. Journal of Child Language 2014, 41(6), 1224-1228.
- Reilly S, McKean C, Levickis P. Late talking: can it predict later language difficulties?. Centre for Research Excellence in Child Language, 2014. Research Snapshot 2.
- Levickis P, McKean C. Late talking: does parenting behaviour hold the key?. Centre for Research Excellence in Child Language, 2014. Research Snapshot 4.
- Levickis P, McKean C. Late talking: is intervention necessary and effective?. Centre for Research Excellence in Child Language, 2014. Research Snapshot 3.
- McKean C, Letts CA, Howard D. Developmental Change Is Key to Understanding Primary Language Impairment: The Case of Phonotactic Probability and Nonword Repetition. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 2013, 56(5), 1579-1594.
- McKean C, Letts CA, Howard D. Functional reorganization in the developing lexicon: separable and changing influences of lexical and phonological variables on children's fast-mapping. Journal of Child Language 2013, 40(2), 307-335.
- McKean C, Wesolowski K, Page D, Close G, James D. Understanding what matters most: exploring profiles and trajectories of learning and development from the early years to formal education. Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle University, 2011.
- McKean C. Marshall, Chloe, ed. Current Issues in Developmental Disorders, (Hove: Psychology Press, 2013) ISBN: 9781848720848. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 2013, 48(5), 599-599.
- McKean C, Pert S, Stow C. Building Early Sentences Therapy (BEST): A Home Language Intervention Programme for Young Children with Severe Language Difficulties. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Newcastle University, 2012.
- McKean C. Michael Perkins, Pragmatic Impairment (Review). Pragmatics and Cognition 2010, 18(1), 196-202.
- McKean C. [PhD Thesis] Investigating the development of a developmental disorder: Mapping the trajectory of lexical development in Specific Language Impairment. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Newcastle University, 2009.
- McKean C. Current Literature: Relations among Speech, Language and Reading Disorders. Pennington B.F. & Bishop D.V.M. (2009) Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 283-306. Child: Care, Health and Development 2009, 35(4), 586.
- McKean C. Speech and Language Therapy Resources to Download: Nottingham SLT advice sheets: Strategies to promote early language development. nottinghamcity.gov.uk: Nottingham City Council, 1997. Advice Sheets.