Engel de Abreu
I specialised in cognitive development in my PhD from the University of York (UK) and hold master's degrees in developmental psychology from the University of Durham (UK) and the Université Louis Pasteur (France). I have postdoctoral research experience from the University of Oxford (UK), the University of Princeton (US), and York University (Canada).
I am interested in understanding how children learn, why some children can have “specific learning disorders” (such as dyslexia) and how we can help children achieve their full potential at school. I study important cognitive processes that children need to learn to speak, read and write such as working memory, executive functions and phonological awareness. I am particularly interested in exploring these processes in multilingual speakers. Most of my research is conducted in schools using diverse methodologies, including longitudinal, cross-sectional and intervention research. I often work with kids individually and use simple (and fun) games to find out more about how they think and learn. My research has important theoretical but also practical implications. One of the major aims is to develop theoretically-driven assessment instruments and intervention programs that will help to alleviate children's learning difficulties and might prevent a downward spiral towards poor educational progress and its associated social problems.