UBEL DTP Blog Post

We had our first seminar of the new student led UBEL Seminar Series on Monday 6th December and Layal Husain and Zahra Siddiqui presented their PhD work on the theme of Education, Psychology and Language. The seminar series gives UBEL PhD students a chance to share their PhD research, get experience presenting, to connect with other DTP students in similar (or completely different) fields and to feel a part of the DTP.

Zahra, a second year based in the Institute of Education at UCL, spoke through her initial analysis of the data from an educational Maths app to understand the mathematical development of children (3-7 years old). Zahra is using data from an app, which has a worldwide use, especially in China and Russia, and has a sample of over 2000 children who have played games on the app. She plans to use Latent Growth Curve Modelling in R, a type of Structural Equation Modelling, due to the longitudinal aspect of the data to analyse the effect of the games over time on mathematical development. Zahra was asked about the possible impacts of the research, and she said it could be used to assess how long educational interventions are needed for in order to influence and positively impact the mathematical attainment and development of the children.

Layal’s talk was on Childhood Bilingualism and Complementary Schools in East London. Layal is based in the Psychology Department at the University of East London and is in the fourth year of her PhD, going into her write-up. Layal spoke through the complex topic of bilingualism and the role complementary schools in Newham (voluntary-run schools for additional and weekend lessons) play in the social, cognitive, and educational outcomes of bilingual primary-school-aged students. She gave a brief overview of some of the longitudinal project’s findings, based on data collected from 153 bilingual children at primary and complementary schools. Layal highlighted how complementary schools do more than just language learning and emphasized the role of active parental and community involvement in bilingualism. To read more about Layal’s research, they recently published a paper based on their first time-point findings which you can find here:

Husain, Layal & Lam, Virginia. (2021). Growing up bilingual: language proficiency, social identities and competences of complementary school-attendees and non-attendees in the UK. Language and Education. 1-17. 10.1080/09500782.2021.1983586.

We had many questions from the audience including on the implications of the research, the modelling approach of Latent Growth Curve Modelling, looking at specific languages and bilingualism in the home as well as how mathematical development can relate to bilingualism and language. It was a really interesting discussion and thank you to our two presenters for their talks.

The next seminar will take place in January after the Christmas break and the schedule for next Term is as follows (with more to potentially be added):

Thursday 13th January at 11am

Becka Hudson (Birkbeck) and Ben Phillips-Farmer (Birkbeck)

Psychiatric Anthropology and Pathways to Homelessness

Monday 24th January at 2pm

Ellie Braithwaite (Birkbeck) and Roisin Perry (UCL)

Psychology, Development and Education

Monday 7th February at 2pm

Lizzie Hughes (Birkbeck) and Mie Astrup Jensen (UCL)

Gendered and Queer Experiences

Monday 21st February at 11am

Caroline Chesang (LSHTM) and Sophie Ayling (UCL)

Medical Statistics, Health and Modelling

Monday 7th March at 2pm

Hannah Reeves (Birkbeck) and James Green (UCL)

Psycho-social studies and Feminist Criminology

Monday 21st March at 2pm

Coirle Magee (UCL) and Lynsey Robinson (UCL)

Education, Development and Migration