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Professor Kate Cain

Professor Kate Cain

Professor

Fylde College
Lancaster University
Bailrigg
Lancaster
United Kingdom
LA1 4YF

+44 (0)1524 593990

Research Interests

My research concerns the different cognitive and language-related skills that underpin the development of reading and listening comprehension, both in atypical and typical populations. To date, this work has identified several higher-level skill weaknesses that may be causally linked to poor comprehension, including the ability to generate inferences, knowledge and use of reading strategies, and the ability to construct coherent and integrated narratives. Recent work has confirmed that these skills predict reading comprehension development between 8 to 11 years.

Current research projects

  • The language bases of reading comprehension (funded by IES), more details about LARRC here: http://larrc.ehe.osu.edu/
  • The influence of morphological awareness on learning to read in English and Chinese (funded by ESRC and the RGC Hong Kong), more details here: http://www.psych.lancs.ac.uk/esrc-morphology/
  • Language and literacy profiles of children with rolandic epilepsy (funded by The Waterloo Foundation), more details here: http://www.psych.lancs.ac.uk/rolandic-epilepsy/
  • Developing reading comprehension in the classroom (funded by the British Academy)
  • Use of corpus methods to investigate the language environment of typically and atypically developing children (funded by ESRC), for more details about the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science see here:http://cass.lancs.ac.uk/?page_id=23
  • Opportunities for bilingualism in preschool and school-aged children with developmental disabilities (funded by SSHRC). To take part in our survey, click here: https://surveys.dal.ca/opinio/s?s=23351

 

External Roles

I am the Editor in Chief of Scientific Studies of Reading, the journal of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading.

Kate Cain's Publications

In Press

Learning to read: should we keep things simple?

Language and Reading Research Consortium expected in 2015 In : Reading Research Quarterly.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Literacy development: the interdependent roles of oral language and reading comprehension

Cain, K. expected in 2015 Routledge handbook of communication disorders. Bahr, R. H. & Silliman, E. R. (eds.). London: Routledge

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The dimensionality of Spanish in young Spanish-English dual language learners

Language and Reading Research Consortium expected in 2015 In : Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Children’s reading comprehension and comprehension difficulties

Oakhill, J., Berenhaus, M. & Cain, K. 2014 Handbook of reading. Pollatsek, A. & Treiman, R. (eds.). New York: Oxford University Press

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Reading comprehension and vocabulary: is vocabulary more important for some aspects of comprehension?

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 2014 In : L'année Psychologique.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Use of the curriculum research framework (CRF) for developing a reading-comprehension curricular supplement for the primary grades

Language and Reading Research Consortium 2014 In : Elementary School Journal.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2014

Understanding and teaching reading comprehension: a handbook

Oakhill, J., Cain, K. & Elbro, C. 25/08/2014 London: Routledge. 144 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Decoding and reading comprehension: a meta-analysis to identify which reader and assessment characteristics influence the strength of the relationship in English

Garcia, J. R. & Cain, K. 03/2014 In : Review of Educational Research. 84, 1, p. 74-111 38 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Reading and listening comprehension and their relation to inattention and hyperactivity

Cain, K. & Bignell, S. 03/2014 In : British Journal of Educational Psychology. 84, 1, p. 108-124 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Comprehension skill and inference making ability: issues of causality

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 2014 Reading and spelling: development and disorder. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, p. 329-342 14 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Early narrative skills in Chilean preschool: questions scaffold the production of coherent narratives

Silva, M., Strasser, K. & Cain, K. 2014 In : Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 29, 2, p. 205-213 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Effect of imagery training on children’s comprehension of pronouns

Francey, G. & Cain, K. 2014 In : The Journal of Educational Research.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Morphological and syntactic awareness in poor comprehenders: another piece of the puzzle

Tong, X., Deacon, H. & Cain, K. 2014 In : Journal of Learning Disabilities. 47, 1, p. 22-33 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Reading comprehension (development, individual differences, difficulties)

Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 2014 Encyclopedia of language development. Brooks, P. J. & Kempe, V. (eds.). London: Sage Publications

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

The relations between lower and higher level comprehension skills and their role in prediction of early reading comprehension

Silva, M. & Cain, K. 2014 In : Journal of Educational Psychology.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2013

Reading comprehension difficulties in struggling readers

Cain, K. 2013 Unravelling reading comprehension: behavioral, neurobiological, and genetic components. Miller, B., Cutting, L. E. & McCardle, P. (eds.). Baltimore, Md.: Paul Brookes Publishing, p. 54-65 12 p. (The Extraordinary Brain Series: The Dyslexia Foundation)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Young children’s oral language abilities and later reading comprehension

Hogan, T. P., Cain, K. & Sittner Bridges, M. 2013 Early childhood literacy: the National Early Literacy Panel and beyond. Shanahan, T. & Lonigan, C. J. (eds.). Baltimore, Md.: Brookes Publishing Co

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2012

The precursors of reading ability in young readers: evidence from a four-year longitudinal study.

Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 03/2012 In : Scientific Studies of Reading. 16, 2, p. 91-121 31 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Deeper learning in reading comprehension

Kirby, J. R., Cain, K. & White, B. 2012 Enhancing the quality of learning: dispositions, instruction, and learning processes . Kirby, J. R. & Lawson, M. J. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 315-338 24 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Making the link between vocabulary knowledge and comprehension skill

Oakhill, J., Cain, K., McCarthy, D. & Field, Z. 2012 From words to reading for understanding. Britt, A., Goldman, S. & Rouet, J-F. (eds.). Hoboken, N.J.: Routledge

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Reading comprehension development from seven to fourteen years: implication for assessment

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 2012 Measuring up: advances in how we assess reading ability. Sabatini, J. P., Albro, E. & O'Reilly, T. (eds.). Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Education

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2011

The simple view of reading:is it valid for different types of alphabetic orthographies?

Florit, E. & Cain, K. 12/2011 In : Educational Psychology Review. 23, 4, p. 553-576 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific review

Increasing higher level language skills to improve reading comprehension.

Hogan, T. P., Bridges, M. S., Justice, L. M. & Cain, K. 11/2011 In : Focus on Exceptional Children. 44, 3, p. 1-19 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Matthew effects in young readers: reading comprehension and reading experience aid vocabulary development

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 09/2011 In : Journal of Learning Disabilities. 44, 5, p. 431-443 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Morphological awareness: a key to understanding poor reading comprehension in English.

Tong, X., Deacon, S. H., Kirby, J. R., Cain, K. & Parrila, R. 08/2011 In : Journal of Educational Psychology. 103, 3, p. 523-534 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The influence of connectives on young readers' processing and comprehension of text.

Cain, K. & Nash, H. M. 05/2011 In : Journal of Educational Psychology. 103, 2, p. 429-441 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

What we have learned from 'learning to read in more than one language'.

Deacon, H. & Cain, K. 02/2011 In : Journal of Research in Reading. 34, 1, p. 1-5 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

2010

Reading development and difficulties: an introduction.

Cain, K. 2010 Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 260 p. (BPS Textbooks in Psychology)

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Reading for meaning: the skills that drive comprehension development

Cain, K. 2010 Interdisciplinary perspectives on learning to read: culture, cognition and pedagogy. Hall, K., Goswami, U., Harrison, C., Ellis, S. & Soler, J. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 74-86 13 p. (Routledge Psychology in Education)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2009

The development of idiom comprehension: an investigation of semantic and contextual processing skills.

Cain, K., Towse, A. S. & Knight, R. S. 03/2009 In : Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 102, 3, p. 280-298 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Children's reading comprehension difficulties: a consideration of the precursors and consequences

Cain, K. 2009 Contemporary perspectives on reading and spelling . Wood, C. & Connelly, V. (eds.). Oxford: Routledge, p. 59-75 17 p. (New Perspectives on Learning and Instruction)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Making sense of text : skills that support text comprehension and its development.

Cain, K. 2009 In : Perspectives on Language and Literacy. 35, 2, p. 11-14 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Reading comprehension development from 8 to 14 years the contribution of component skills and processes

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 2009 Beyond decoding: the behavioral and biological foundations of reading comprehension. Wagner, R. K., Schatschneider, C. & Phythian-Sence, C. (eds.). New York: The Guildford Press

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Reading comprehension: nature, assessment and teaching.

Snowling, M., Cain, K., Nation, K. & Oakhill, J. 2009

Research output: Other contribution

2008

To get hold of the wrong end of the stick: reasons for poor idiom understanding in children with reading comprehension difficulties.

Cain, K. & Towse, A. S. 12/2008 In : Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 51, 6, p. 1538-1549 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2007

Deriving word meanings from context: does explanation facilitate contextual analysis?

Cain, K. 11/2007 In : Journal of Research in Reading. 30, 4, p. 347-359 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Pragmatic aspects of communication and language comprehension in groups of children differentiated by teacher ratings of inattention and hyperactivity.

Bignell, S. & Cain, K. 11/2007 In : British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 25, 4, p. 499-512 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Syntactic awareness and reading ability: is there any evidence for a special relationship?

Cain, K. 28/09/2007 In : Applied Psycholinguistics. 28, 4, p. 679-694 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Comprehension problems in children with specific language impairment: does mental imagery training help?

Joffe, V., Cain, K. & Maric, N. 11/04/2007 In : International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. 42, 6, p. 648-664 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Children's Comprehension Problems in Oral and Written Language: A Cognitive Perspective.

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 2007 New York: Guilford Press. 302 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Introduction to comprehension development

Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 2007 Children's comprehension problems in oral and written text: a cognitive perspective . Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. (eds.). New York: Guilford Press, p. 3-40 38 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Issues of causality in children’s reading comprehension

Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 2007 Reading comprehension strategies: theories, interventions, and technologies . McNamara, D. S. (ed.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, p. 47-72 26 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Reading comprehension difficulties: correlates, causes, and consequence

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 2007 Children's comprehension roblems in oral and written text: a cognitive perspective . Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. (eds.). New York: Guilford Press, p. 41-75 35 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2006

Assessment matters: issues in the measurement of reading comprehension.

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 12/2006 In : British Journal of Educational Psychology. 76, 4, p. 697-708 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Profiles of children with specific reading comprehension difficulties.

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 12/2006 In : British Journal of Educational Psychology. 76, 4, p. 683-696 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Individual differences in children's memory and reading comprehension : an investigation of semantic and inhibitory deficits.

Cain, K. 07/2006 In : Memory. 14, 5, p. 553 -569

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Children's reading comprehension : the role of working memory in normal and impaired development.

Cain, K. 2006 Working memory and education.. Pickering, S. J. (ed.). Amsterdam: Academic Press, p. 61-91 31 p. (Educational psychology series)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Reading processes in children

Cain, K. 2006 Encyclopedia of language and linguistics. Brown, K. (ed.). 2nd ed. ed. Oxford: Elsevier, Vol. 10, p. 379-386 8 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

2005

Age- and ability-related differences in young readers’ use of conjunctions.

Cain, K., Patson, N. & Andrews, L. 11/2005 In : Journal of Child Language. 32, 4, p. 877-892 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The relation between children's reading comprehension level and their comprehension of idioms.

Cain, K. E., Lemmon, K. & Oakhill, J. 1/01/2005 In : Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 90, p. 65-87 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2004

Individual differences in the inference of word meanings from context: the influence of reading comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, and memory capacity.

Cain, K., Lemmon, K. & Oakhill, J. 12/2004 In : Journal of Educational Psychology. 96, 4, p. 671-681 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Children's reading comprehension ability: Concurrent prediction by working memory, verbal ability, and component skills.

Cain, K. E., Bryant, P. E. & Oakhill, J. 03/2004 In : Journal of Educational Psychology. 96, 1, p. 31-42 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Reading comprehension difficulties

Cain, K. 2004 Handbook of children’s literacy . Nunes, T. & Bryant, P. (eds.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, p. 313-338 26 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The development of comprehension skills

Oakhill, J. V. & Cain, K. 2004 Handbook of children's literacy. Nunes, T. & Bryant, P. (eds.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, p. 155 180 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

2003

Text comprehension and its relation to coherence and cohesion in children’s fictional narratives.

Cain, K. 09/2003 In : British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 21, 3, p. 335-351 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The ability to learn new word meanings from context by school-age children with and without language comprehension difficulties

Cain, K., Oakhill, J. V. & Elbro, C. 08/2003 In : Journal of Child Language. 30, 3, p. 681-694 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The dissociation of word reading and text comprehension: Evidence from component skills.

Oakhill, J. V., Cain, K. & Bryant, P. E. 2003 In : Language and Cognitive Processes. 18, 4, p. 443-468 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2001

Comprehension skill, inference making ability and their relation to knowledge.

Cain, K., Barnes, M. A., Bryant, P. E. & Oakhill, J. V. 1/09/2001 In : Memory and Cognition. 29, 6, p. 850-859 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2000

Phonological skills and comprehension failure: a test of the phonological processing deficit hypothesis

Cain, K., Oakhill, J. & Bryant, P. E. 09/2000 In : Reading and Writing. 13, 1-2, p. 31-56 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Investigating the causes of reading comprehension failure: the comprehension-age match design.

Cain, K., Oakhill, J. V. & Bryant, P. E. 03/2000 In : Reading and Writing. 12, 1-2, p. 31-40 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Children’s difficulties in text comprehension: assessing causal issues

Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 2000 In : Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. 5, 1, p. 51-59 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

1999

Inference making ability and its relation to comprehension failure

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 12/1999 In : Reading and Writing. 11, 5-6, p. 489-503 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Ways of reading: how knowledge and use of strategies are related to reading comprehension

Cain, K. 06/1999 In : British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 17, 2, p. 293-309 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Problems in text comprehension: current perspectives and recent research

Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 1999 Problems and interventions in literacy development . Reitsma, P. & Verhoeven, L. (eds.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, p. 177-192 16 p. (Neuropsychology and Cognition; vol. 15)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

1998

Assessment of comprehension in reading

Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 1998 The psychological assessment of reading . Beech, J. R. & Singleton, C. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 176-203 28 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Individual differences in young children's comprehension skill: toward an integrated mode

Oakhill, J., Cain, K. & Yuill, N. M. 1998 Reading and spelling : development and disorders . Hulme, C. & Joshi, R. M. (eds.). Marwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, p. 343-367 25 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Selective retention of information about the superficial form of text: ellipses with antecedents in main and subordinate clause

Garnham, A., Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 1998 In : Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology. 51, 1, p. 19-39 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

1997

The interpretation of anaphoric noun phrases: time course, and effects of overspecificity

Garnham, A., Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 1997 In : Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology. 50, 1, p. 149-162 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

1996

The nature of the relationship between comprehension skill and the ability to tell a story

Cain, K. & Oakhill, J. 06/1996 In : British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 14, 2, p. 187-201 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Story knowledge and comprehension skill

Cain, K. 1996 Reading comprehension difficulties: processes and remediation . Cornoldi, C. & Oakhill, J. (eds.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaun Associates, p. 167-192 26 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The use of stereotypical gender information in constructing a mental model: evidence from English and Spanish

Carreiras, M., Garnham, A., Oakhill, J. & Cain, K. 1996 In : Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology. 49, 3, p. 639-663 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

1992

How natural are conceptual anaphors?

Oakhill, J., Garnham, A., Gernsbacher, M. A. & Cain, K. 1992 In : Language and Cognitive Processes. 7, 3-4, p. 257–280 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Kate Cain's Projects

2013

CASS is a Centre designed to bring a new method in the study of language – the corpus approach – to a range of social sciences. In doing it provides an insight into the use and manipulation of language in society in a host of areas of pressing concern, including climate change, hate crime and education. By providing fresh perspectives in such problems, we are helping to develop new approaches to challenging such practices as hate speech both in terms of raising awareness and of informing policy makers and other stakeholders of how such language may be used to wound and offend.

2012

2010

The Language Bases of Reading Comprehension

Cain, K., Justice, L., Catts, H., Hogan, T. & Gray, S.

1/08/1031/07/15

2007

A feasibility and pilot study on the exploitation of the Child Language Survey

This project is a feasibility and pilot study on the exploitation of the Child Language Survey. It is led by a cross-faculty team including Katie Alcock and Kate Cain (Psychology), Andrew Hardie and Sebastian Hoffmann (LAEL) and Paul Rayson (Computing). The RA on the project is Nicola Pooley (Psychology/LAEL).

Background: The Child Language Survey

In the 1960s, the Nuffield Foundation funded the Child Language Survey (CLS), a project which gathered a vast collection of data on child language from the ages of about 8 to about 15.

Consisting of transcripts of child language, both written and spoken, collected from a number of schools around the UK, this data was published in the late 1960s. Its extent has been estimated as a million words (of which 80% was spoken, 20% written).

While some university libraries possess copies of the transcript booklets, the CLS has long been unexploited, despite its potential value, because it is not in the digital format crucial to modern large-scale text analysis.

Research programme

In this pilot project, we will digitise a selection of the CLS data (both spoken and written, in the former case including audio recordings)

create a comparable modern-day sample of data from the same or equivalent schools in London and Leeds

investigate the use of this data in studying children's linguistic variability

We will investigate the evidence in the data for the following three skills on the part of the children:

Planning the text: We will compare the coherence and cohesion of written narratives. These measures will also be analysed in relation to measures of fluency (text generation measures).

Generating the content: We will consider meaning-based dimensions of language (vocabulary and the development of ideas) and rule-based dimensions (sentence structure) within each modality. Complexity and diversity will be examined.

Transcribing ideas into written language: Spelling ability and writing conventions will be analysed. Children can also appear to be good or poor spellers by their choice of easy or hard words to spell in their written compositions, so spelling success will also be measurable in terms of written word frequency and length.

Kate Cain's Activities

2012

Scientific Studies of Reading

Professor Kate Cain (Editor), 1/03/201228/02/2015

Activity: Editorial work or peer review of publicationsEditorial activity