Dr Silke Fricke
PhD (UK) MSc (UK) Staatlich anerkannte Logopädin/SLT (GER)
Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School
+44 114 222 2419
Full contact details
Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School
362 Mushroom Lane
I am a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Human Communication Sciences (HCS). I am researching speech, language, and literacy development and difficulties in monolingual and multilingual children as well as the interrelationships between these skills. My research also focusses on the evaluation of early support and intervention approaches for children’s speech, language and literacy development.
Having qualified and practised as an SLT with a specialisation in children with speech, language, and literacy difficulties; and adults with functional voice disorders in Germany, I came to the UK for postgraduate studies at Masters level followed by a PhD by joint location in Human Communication Sciences. In my longitudinal PhD project, I investigated the influence of speech and language processing skills on early literacy development in monolingual and bilingual German-speaking children.
From 2009 to 2011, I worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on the Nuffield Language4Reading project (an oral language intervention RCT project) at the Department of Psychology, University of York (see Nuffield Early Language Intervention). I joined the Division of Human Communication Sciences in January 2011 as a Lecturer and received an Exceptional Contribution Award in 2012.
I am the Course Director of the programmes PGCert/PGDip/MSc in Speech Difficulties as well as PGCert/PGDip/MSc in Acquired Communication Disorders. I am also the Deputy Lead for Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) in the Health Sciences School (HSS). In addition, I am the Deputy Chair and HSS representative of the Faculty of MDH Early Career Researcher Committee (MDHECRC). The MDHECRC aims to ensure that all researchers in the faculty have access to advice and training to develop their career trajectory. I am a Think Ahead Career Mentor for ECRs and received a Dedicated Outstanding Mentor Recognition in 2017.
- 2014: Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA), University of Sheffield, UK
- 2013: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching, University of Sheffield, UK
- 2009: PhD, Human Communication Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK & University of Applied Sciences Fresenius Idstein, GER
- 2005: MSc in Human Communication Sciences Research, University of Sheffield, UK
- 2001: Staatlich anerkannte Logopädin (equiv. to 3 years BMedSci in Speech and Language Therapy), College of Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Göttingen, GER
- Research interests
- Speech, language, and literacy development and difficulties in monolingual and multilingual children (including cross-linguistic comparisons)
- Cognitive predictors of literacy acquisition (e.g., phonological awareness)
- Relationships between oral and written language in monolingual as well as multilingual children
- Assessment and management of children with Speech Sound Disorders (SSD)
- Evaluation of teaching, support and intervention approaches for children with speech and/or language weaknesses, children at risk of literacy difficulties, children learning English as an Additional Language (EAL), and children and parents learning a second language.
- 2021 – 2025: The impact of COVID-19 on educational, language & socioemotional outcomes in KS1 (ICICLES); Nuffield Education Grant; https://www.iciclesproject.com/; Follow us on Twitter @ICICLES_project
- 2021 – 2023: Evaluation of Tiny Happy People, BBC Education
- 2020-2022: A national evidence-based care pathway for Speech and Language Therapy for children with cleft palate in the first year of life, HEE/NIHR ICA Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship 2020; Pre-doctoral Clinical Fellow Hannah Lane (@SltLane)
- 2018 – 2019: Ways in which digital technology intersects with assessment of individuals with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD); Heather Van Der Lely Foundation Trust
- 2015 – 2018: Understanding and enhancing reading and language skills in children learning English as an Additional Language; ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) Network grant, (Academic Lead: Anna Weighall (University of Leeds); Collaborators: Claudine Bowyer-Crane and Emma Marsden (University of York), Silke Fricke and Jenny Thomson (University of Sheffield), Anna Weighall and Hannah Nash (University of Leeds); Partners: Born in Bradford (BiB))
- 2014 – 2019: Better Start Innovation Hub: Language and Communication Theme (Part of Better Start Bradford funded by Big Lottery Fund), Theme team: Claudine Bowyer-Crane (theme lead, York), Silke Fricke, Anna Weighall (University of Leeds), Lorna Hamilton (York St John)
- 2012 – 2015: A ‘real world’ trial of the Nuffield Early Language Intervention; Education Endowment Foundation Grant
- 2012 – 2015: Oral Language Intervention for Children with English as an Additional Language in Reception; Nuffield Education Grant
- 2012 – 2014: Developing a Tablet application to assess receptive vocabulary skills in multilingual children; Faculty of MDH: Research and Innovation Grant; https://www.vocabularyapp.org/
- 2011 – 2012: Promoting Oral Language in Nursery-aged Children with English as an Additional Language; Early Career Researcher/EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Grant, University of Sheffield.
- Test fuer Phonologische Bewusstheitsfaehigkeiten. Idstein: Schulz-Kirchner-Verlag.
- Phonological awareness skills in German-speaking preschool children. Idstein: Schulz-Kirchner.
- Return to school after acquired brain injury in the UK – the educators' perspectives. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs.
- Effects of an early literacy intervention for linguistically diverse children: a quasi-experimental study. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. View this article in WRRO
- Evaluation of an explicit vocabulary teaching intervention for children learning English as an additional language in primary school. Child Language Teaching and Therapy. View this article in WRRO
- Language and reading development in children learning English as an additional language in primary school in England. Journal of Research in Reading. View this article in WRRO
- The efficacy of early language intervention in mainstream school settings: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 58(10), 1141-1151. View this article in WRRO
- Early literacy and comprehension skills in children learning English as an additional language and monolingual children with language weaknesses. Reading and Writing, 30(4), 771-790. View this article in WRRO
- Oral Language Skills Intervention in Pre-school – A Cautionary Tale.. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 52(1), 71-79. View this article in WRRO
- Preschool Predictors of Early Literacy Acquisition in German-Speaking Children. Reading Research Quarterly, 51(1), 29-53. View this article in WRRO
- Development of a tablet application for the screening of receptive vocabulary skills in multilingual children: A pilot study. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 32(2), 179-191. View this article in WRRO
- Die Phonologische Bewusstheit bei Dreijährigen [Phonological Awareness in German-Speaking 3-Year-Olds - A Pilot Study]. Sprache Stimme Gehör, 39(1), 19-23.
- Boosting Early Language as Foundation for Literacy. PATOSS Bulletin, 1(26), 18-23.
- Efficacy of language intervention in the early years.. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 54(3), 280-290. View this article in WRRO
- Development of a test battery for assessing phonological awareness in German-speaking children.. Clin Linguist Phon, 23(6), 404-430.
- Predicting individual differences in early literacy acquisition in German: The role of speech and language processing skills and letter knowledge. Written Language & Literacy, 2(11), 103-146.
- Phonological awareness skills in German-speaking children - Test development and first comparative data. Forum Logopadie, 21(3), 14-19.
- View this article in WRRO Phonologische Prozesse in der deutschen Sprache türkisch-deutsch bilingualer Kinder [Phonological patterns in German in Turkish-German bilingual children]. Sprache - Stimme - Gehör.
- Phonological variations in typically-developing Italian-speaking children aged 3;0-4;11.. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics.
- View this article in WRRO A setting-based oral language intervention for nursery-aged children with English as an additional language In Murphy VA & Evangelou M (Ed.), Early Childhood Education in English for Speakers of Other Languages (pp. 171-186). London: British Council.
- Language programmes In Kersner M & Wright JA (Ed.), Supporting Young Children with Communication Problems (pp. 119-140). London: Routledge.
- Nuffield Early Language Intervention.
- Book Review: Understanding Difficulties in Literacy Development: issues and concepts – Edited by Janet Soler, Felicity Fletcher-Campbell and Gavin Reid. British Journal of Special Education, 37(2), 106-107.
- Test für Phonologische Bewusstheitsfähigkeiten (TPB).
- Research group
Current PhD Students
- C. Mountford, Speech sound disorders in preschool and Reception-age children: Accuracy of identification and access to intervention; part-time PhD, University of Sheffield; 2nd supervisor: Dr S. Spencer
- S. Azhar, Language development and impairment in the Hejazi dialect, full-time PhD funded by Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau scholarship; University of Sheffield; 1st supervisor: Dr Özge Öztürk
- S. Lavaggi, Trajectories of speech acquisition in Italian speaking children; full-time PhD funded by Faculty Sheffield PGT to PGR Scholarship; University of Sheffield; 2nd Supervisor: Dr A.V. Fox-Boyer (Universität zu Lübeck)
- S. Churcher, Investigation into effective intervention for speech sound disordered toddlers; part-time PhD, University of Sheffield
- D. Turki, Phonological development in monolingual Saudi Hijazi-speaking children, full-time PhD funded by Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau scholarship; University of Sheffield; 2nd supervisor: Dr T. Walker; Advisor: Dr A.V. Fox-Boyer (Universität zu Lübeck)
- A. Zosimidou, Τhe development of oral and written narrative in relation to other linguistic and literacy skills in 8-10-year-old children with English as an Additional Language; part-time PhD funded by ESRC DTC Network grant; University of Sheffield & University of Leeds; 2nd supervisor: Dr H. Nash (University of Leeds)
- K. Patrick, Speech and language therapy intervention for children with significant and persistent speech sound difficulties associated with cleft palate; part-time PhD, University of Sheffield; 2nd supervisor: Dr B. Rutter; Advisor: Dr Joanne Cleland (University of Strathclyde)
Previous PhD Students
- C. Wealer (2015 – 2019), Early Literacy Instruction in a Multilingual Setting: Fostering Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood Classrooms in Luxembourg; full-time joint-location PhD funded by University of Luxembourg/PUL grant, University of Luxembourg & University of Sheffield; 1st supervisor: Dr P. Engel de Abreu (University of Luxembourg)
- Chris Dixon (2014-2018), Language and Literacy Development in Children Learning English as an Additional Language: A Longitudinal Cohort and Vocabulary Intervention Study; full-time PhD funded by Faculty PhD Scholarship, University of Sheffield; 2nd supervisor: Dr Jenny Thomson
- Katharina Albrecht (nee Salgert) (2012-2017), Speech Sound Development in Turkish-German Bilingual Children; full-time joint-location PhD, University of Sheffield & European University of Applied Sciences Rostock; 2nd supervisor: Dr J. McCormack (2015-2017)/Prof J. Stackhouse (2012-2015); Joint location supervisor: Prof A.V. Fox-Boyer (European University of Applied Sciences Rostock)
- Dea Nielsen (2012-2016), Cognitive, Linguistic and Literacy Development in Young Children Learning English as an Additional Language; full-time PhD funded by University Prize Scholarship, University of Sheffield; 2nd supervisor: Dr M. Warmington (2015-2016)/Prof J. Stackhouse (2012-2015)
- Chloë Bate (2008-2016), Relationships between Oral Language and Writing and their Development in 7-9-year-old Children; part-time PhD funded by University Scholarship, University of Sheffield; 1st Supervisor (until 2015): Prof J. Stackhouse
- Teaching interests
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). In addition to being Course Director of the programmes PGCert/PGDip/MSc in Speech Difficulties as well as PGCert/PGDip/MSc in Acquired Communication Disorders, I teach on a variety of modules at postgraduate level focussing on speech, language, and literacy development and difficulties (including intervention approaches), as well as bi-/multilingualism, and research methods. I coordinate two modules focussing on Speech Sound Disorders (SSD): HCS6021 Speech Difficulties 1 - Nature and Investigation, and HCS6022 Speech Difficulties 2 - Intervention and Management.