Tanja Prieler

Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School

PhD research student

+44 114 222 2438

Full contact details

Tanja Prieler
Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School
362 Mushroom Lane
S10 2TS

I completed my undergraduate (2008-2011) and postgraduate (2011-2014) degrees in Education at the University of Vienna, Austria. During my studies I developed a genuine interest in early childhood education, literacy development, the interdependence between teaching and learning, as well as in researching educational issues connected with social class, ethnicity and culture. My wish to deepen my research skills led to the completion of a second MA degree in Educational Research at the University of Sheffield (2014-2015). In my Masters dissertation I introduced the Roma Language and Education Tool (RoLET) as an analytical model for schools, teachers and other professionals working with newly arrived Slovak Roma pupils in the UK.

After being awarded a Leverhulme Trust Scholarship in October 2015, I am currently a PhD student at the Department for Human Communication Sciences. Since 2015, I am also working as a research assistant on a project led by Dr Mark Payne (School of Education, University of Sheffield). This longitudinal project explores the linguistic, educational and social difficulties of Roma pupils in a secondary school in Sheffield.

Research interests
  • Development of literacy skills in young children
  • Impact of new technologies on early reading acquisition
  • Linguistic development, educational and social integration of migrant pupils

Research project

My thesis is part of a Leverhulme-funded research project led by Dr Jenny Thomson that focuses on the effects of Reception Year pupils’ exposure to digital text on their literacy development. The aim of this research is to examine the longitudinal relationships between text processing and literacy acquisition. In detail, the study will investigate digitally-relevant precursor skills children need when beginning reading and how these skills stand in relation to more traditional predictors of early reading, such as letter knowledge and the awareness of the sounds within words. Furthermore, the project will explore the relationship between behaviourally-measured changes in visual text processing and reading performance, with environmental and basic motivational factors.