Sara Lavaggi

Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School

PhD research student
+44 114 222 2438

Full contact details

Sara Lavaggi
Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School
362 Mushroom Lane
S10 2TS

I am an Italian Speech and Language Therapist, qualified at the University of Genoa, Italy, in 2015. I have subsequently completed an MSc in Speech Difficulties at The University of Sheffield (2016-2017). My theoretical studies, alongside clinical practice, both in Italy as Speech and Language Therapist and in the UK as SLT Assistant, have enhanced my awareness of the difficulty of working with multilingual children with speech difficulties, due to limited research and specific assessment tools. This led me to develop a genuine interest in multilingual speech development and its relationship with Speech Sound Disorders.

In my Master’s dissertation, I had the opportunity to conduct some original research, investigating the effects of Italian-English language interaction (Lavaggi & Rutter, in preparation). This work inspired me to pursue a PhD, exploring more systematically the impact of bilingualism on speech acquisition.

Research interests
  • Multilingualism
  • Typical and Atypical Speech development
  • Speech Sound Disorders in children

Research project

My PhD project aims to collect data on the trajectories of speech acquisition in bilingual English-Italian speaking children. This interest arouse from my awareness of the need of providing adequate support for the growing number of bilingual children with SSDs, which is currently challenging due to a lack of normative data. Information on how children acquire speech in the two languages and on internal and external influencing factors will significantly inform clinical practice, providing a base of normative data, necessary for the development of appropriate assessment tools.


  • Dr Silke Fricke
  • Prof. Annette Fox-Boyer PhD MSc (EUAS, European University of Applied Sciences, Rostock)