Theresa Sophie Bloder

ESR11: Phonological and morpho-syntactic processing in bilingual children and in children with SLI

Lead beneficiary: University of Tübingen

Main supervisor: T. Rinker

About me:

My name is Theresa Bloder and I am a Speech and Language Pathologist from Austria. After I finished my Bachelor’s degree at the FH JOANNEUM in Graz in 2016 I specialized in working with children with all different kinds of developmental language disorders. In the course of my Master’s program, which I successfully completed in 2018 at University College London, I was able to broaden my clinical skills, underpinned by a core focus on academic research, pairing theoretical linguistics with experimental psychology and neurology classes.


Bilingualism and the way growing up in a multilingual environment shapes children’s language development have always been of particular interest to me. What was initially thought to be a curse has been shown to be a blessing as learning two or more languages can provide cognitive benefits for children. I am especially interested to what extent multilingualism might play a protective role in children with developmental language disorders. However, working with children from various cultural and diverse language backgrounds I am well aware of the challenges that are tied to multilingualism, particularly concerning properly diagnosing a developmental language disorder and differentiating between a “weaker” language and an actual pathological condition. Therefore, I am hoping to find a better way to comprehensively evaluate children’s language skills.


Another special interest of mine lies in the neural substrate of language especially the way its correlates change throughout the course of language acquisition or in the presence of a language disorder. Overall, I am hoping to learn even more about the amazing human brain in order to validate the different methods of Speech and Language Therapy, verify its efficacy on a neural and anatomical basis, and improve diagnostic processes.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska Curie grant agreement No 765556.

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