Dr Vikki Janke

Reader in Linguistics
+44 (0)1227 823505
Dr Vikki Janke


Vikki received her PhD in Linguistics from the Department of Phonetics & Linguistics at University College London, where she worked on control, focusing on English and Icelandic. Since then she has held research and teaching posts at the Institute of Education (UoL), the Department of Human Communication Science at UCL and at Middlesex University.
Vikki researches on language and communication in numerous settings. She focuses on first language acquisition in typically developing children and in autistic children (particularly later-acquired examples of grammar), the social and cognitive development of bilingual children, second language acquisition in spoken and signed languages, and verbal and non-verbal communication between caregivers and children in medical settings. Her research on grammar and pragmatics with autistic children was sponsored by the British Academy and she contributed to a three-year collaboration with Chloe Marshall (UCL) and Marianne Gullberg (Lund) on the second language acquisition of signed languages funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
Currently, Vikki is conducting two research two projects with Gloria Chamorro in Madrid (UNED). One is on educational bilingualism and its social, cognitive and linguistic consequences for the developing child. The other is a British Academy funded cross-linguistic longitudinal project on children’s grammatical development. A further collaboration includes two 3i Cross-Border Collaboration projects with colleagues in Lille, Ghent and Leuven, which are assessing how communication between paediatricians and child patients might be advanced.
She is Director of the MA in Experimental & Theoretical Linguistics in Modern Languages and Linguistics, and is on the editorial board of First Language.


Vikki teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on first language acquisition, language acquisition in less usual circumstances (e.g. autistic populations, Deaf populations, bilingualism), second language acquisition, psycholinguistics and syntax.


Vikki has previously supervised postgraduate research on syntax, first language acquisition and language and communicative development in autistic individuals. If you are interested in undertaking a PhD under Vikki's supervision, she would welcome applications relating to first or second language acquisition, particularly on topics relating to grammar, primary pragmatics, autism spectrum conditions and bilingualism.

Current PhD Students

  • Rachel Cullen (PhD Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
  • Siham Ezzahid (PhD Linguistics: Cotutelle: Kent and Lille)
  • Lizzy Aumonier (PhD Philosophy: Northeastern University London and Kent)
  • Beth Waller (PhD Linguistics)
Last updated