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UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

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Prof Wendy Best

Prof Wendy Best

Professor of Communication Science and Language Therapy

Language & Cognition

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Mar 2001

Research summary

I am a Professor at UCL and Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and work in language and communication disorder research with a focus on intervention with children with language needs and adults with aphasia. Our research enables the co-creation and evaluation of novel assessments and interventions for those with communication disorder that can be used in the health service/education. The work informs understanding of mechanisms of change particularly in word-retrieval and conversation. Previous research includes projects with people with developmental dyslexia, disorders of short-term memory, category specific semantic disorders and word sound deafness. These include single case and case series investigations and I have related expertise in intervention design. I direct the UCL Centre for Speech & Language Intervention Research, which links research and practice, am a founder member of the Better Conversations team and supervise professionals and students investigating clinically driven research questions.

Our 212 Ideas Lab brings together research with children with Developmental Language Disorder and adults with Aphasia focusing on word-finding, self-monitoring of production, reading and conversation. Projects include Better Conversations with Children with Developmental Language Disorder (a novel intervention), investigating the value of orthographic cues in aphasia rehabilitation, Communicative Participation (increasing our understanding of the views of children with communication needs), Picture Judgements (developing a new tool to assess semantic knowledge for clinical practice) and exploration of the use of Evidence Based Practice by SLTs.

Teaching summary

I was involved in setting up two new degrees: the MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology (across Birkbeck College, UCL and the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery) and Doctorate in Clinical Communication Science.

Currently my teaching is mainly on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences degree, pre-registration training. I supervise projects across courses which have included: BSc Psychology, BSc Speech Sciences, BSc Psychology and Language Sciences, MSc Cognitive Neuropsychology, MSc Speech and Language Sciences, MRes Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders, MRes Speech, Language and Cognition.

As part of a doctoral training module, I set up Action Learning Sets for PhD students who are already professionally qualified (e.g., as health or education professionals). The sets now run through the Doctoral Skills Development Programme and also support Early Career Researchers.

Education

Birkbeck College
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1994
Birkbeck College
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1989
City, University of London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Postgraduate Diploma | 1985
University of Leicester
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1983
Publications