Dr Anna Cunningham

Research fellow

School of Life and Health Sciences 

Aston University 
Aston Triangle
Birmingham B4 7ET

Room: SW610b
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 4190

Email: a.cunningham@aston.ac.uk 

Dr Anna Cunningham

I am currently working as a research fellow on the Aston Literacy Project. This is a four-year ESRC (2011-2015) funded project led by Laura Shapiro (PI), Caroline WittonJoel Talcott and Adrian Burgess.

The project investigates the relative importance of general auditory skills (perception of non-verbal sounds) and specific speech skills (perception of verbal sounds, otherwise known as phonological awareness) in beginning and intermediate stages of reading.

A large heterogeneous sample of 4-5 year old children at the start of reading acquisition, as well as an older sample of 6-7 year olds will be tested on a range of auditory, phonological and reading measures. The younger sample will be followed up twice, 1 and 2 years after the first testing phase.

The project has 3 main aims:

  1. To examine the predictive strength of tasks with different processing demands and stimulus types (verbal and non-verbal) on reading
  2. To establish whether the pattern of predictors changes between early and intermediate stages of reading development 
  3. To investigate the impact of phonological and auditory deficits on reading difficulties in early and middle childhood.
  • 2010-2011: Research fellow on phase 3 of the Warwick Speech and Literacy project with Julia Carroll. 
    This project investigated the predictors of reading, phonological and morphological awareness in children at risk of literacy difficulties. 
  • 2007-2010: PhD. The effects of age and schooling on the development of early literacy. Suprvised by Julia Carroll
    This project looked at children schooled later (age 7) compared to earlier (age 4) in childhood.

Articles can be downloaded below. For more information go to my Google scholar profile

Cunningham, A. J., & Carroll, J. M. (2011a). Reading-related skills in earlier and later schooled children. Scientific Studies of Reading. pdf

Cunningham, A. J., & Carroll, J. M. (2011b). The development of early literacy in Steiner and standard educated children. British Journal of Educational Psychology. pdf

Cunningham, A. J., & Carroll, J. M. (2011c). Age and schooling effects on early literacy and phoneme awareness. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. pdf

Cunningham, A. J., & Carroll, J. M. (2013). Early predictors of phonological and morphological awarenss and the link with reading: Evidence from children with different patterns of early deficit. Applied Psycholinguistics. pdf

Carroll, J. M., Mundy, I. R., & Cunningham, A. J. (2014). The roles of family history of dyslexia, language, speech production and phonological processing in predicting literacy progress. Developmental Science, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1111/desc.12153