Professor Joy Stackhouse


Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School

Emeritus Professor of Human Communication Sciences

Full contact details

Professor Joy Stackhouse
Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School
362 Mushroom Lane
S10 2TS

I am Professor of Human Communication Sciences at the University of Sheffield and a registered speech and language therapist, psychologist, and teacher of children with specific literacy difficulties (dyslexia).

I worked as a speech and language therapist in community settings in North Wales and then at Birmingham Children's Hospital before becoming a lecturer at the National Hospital's College of Speech Sciences in London in 1976. In 1983 I moved to Birmingham Polytechnic where I became Head of the School of Speech Therapy in 1988. After returning to London in 1990, I was made a Reader and then Professor of Speech and Literacy at University College London. I moved to Sheffield in 2000 where I have been Head of the Department of Human Communication Sciences for two periods of office. Currently I teach on HCS’s postgraduate courses on speech and literacy difficulties, supervise Masters and PhD students, and chair the developmental research group in the department.


Speech and Language Therapy (LCST, Distinction), Birmingham Polytechnic;
BSc Psychology (1st Class), Birkbeck College, London;
PhD in Psychology, University College London;
RSA teaching certificate (Dyslexia), University College London

Research interests

Along with Professor Bill Wells, also at Sheffield, I have developed a psycholinguistic framework for the assessment and management of children with speech and literacy difficulties. I have used longitudinal group and case studies to predict speech and language outcomes in children, to identify at risk children, and to plan appropriate intervention programmes. Participants have included children with normal and atypical phonological development, dyspraxia, dysarthria, cleft palate, Down syndrome, dyslexia and non-fluency.

A main focus has been the relationship between speech, phonological awareness and spelling, and current work examines this in different languages and scripts (e.g. German, Arabic, Mandarin, Greek). My research has followed up children with speech and language difficulties into adulthood and I am involved in projects with children, teenagers and young offenders from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Training school staff and others is included in these projects.

Current projects

  • Speech and literacy development and difficulties in mono/bi/multilingual children.
  • Psycholinguistic assessment of speech difficulties, including stammering.
  • Intervention and therapy outcomes in children/ adults with cleft palate.
  • Social disadvantage, language and educational performance.
  • Training school staff to support children’s speech, language and literacy skills.
Professional activities and memberships

I was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in 2006 for ‘distinguished contributions to research and teaching in the field’ and was one of 30 elected women to feature in a photographic exhibition of ‘inspiring women’ at the University of Sheffield in 2012-2013. I have published six books on children's speech and literacy as well as many book chapters and journal papers. Editorial Board work includes: Child Language Teaching and Therapy; International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, and Advances in Speech-Language Pathology.

I run training courses on the psycholinguistic approach to children’s speech and literacy difficulties and have been invited to talk at international conferences including the American Speech and Hearing Association. I recently presented our psycholinguistic framework for research and practice at conferences and training days in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden as well as in the UK.

Recent publications
  1. Clegg, J. Ansorge, L. & Stackhouse, J. (2012) Developmental communication impairments in adult life: Documenting the life experiences of the adults and their parents from childhood through adolescence and into adult life. Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. 43, 521-535
  2. Newbold, E.J., Wells, B & Stackhouse, J. (2013) Tracking Change in Children with Persisting Speech Difficulties. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics
  3. Speake, J., Stackhouse, J., Pascoe, M. (2012) Vowel intervention for children with speech difficulty: Effects on intelligibility. Child Language Teaching and Therapy. 28, 3. 277-296.
  4. Spencer, S., Clegg, J., & Stackhouse, J. (2012) Language and Disadvantage: A comparison of the language abilities of adolescents from two different socioeconomic areas. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 47, 3, 274-284.
  5. Stackhouse, J. & Pascoe, M. (2010) Psycholinguistic Intervention. In Williams, L., McLeod, S. and McCauley, R. (eds) Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children. Brookes Publishing Co. 219-246.