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Dr Karen Smith-Lock

BSc U of T, MHSc U of T, PhD UConn.

Karen Smith-Lock

Associate Investigator

Contact Details

email : k.smith-lock@curtin.edu.au

External Address

School of Psychology and Speech Pathology
Curtin University

Profile

My research focuses on the acquisition of oral and written language and developmental language disorders: specific language impairment and dyslexia. I am interested in how children learn to talk and to read and write, and why some children struggle to do so. I am also interested in what techniques are successful in helping these children learn oral and written language. I did a BSc in Linguistics and Psychology at the University of Toronto (1986), a Master of Health Science in Speech Pathology at the University of Toronto (1988) and a PhD in Linguistics at the University of Connecticut and Haskins Laboratories (1992), supervised by Ignatius Mattingly. I came to Macquarie University in 1993 where I held a teaching and research position until 1996. After a career break for family duties, I joined MACCS on a part-time basis in 2003. I am currently lead researcher in projects aimed at developing an evidence-base for clinical practice in oral language treatment and reading and spelling remediation and a speech pathologist in clinical practice.

Recent External Appointments

  • Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University. (2015 continuing)
  • Associate Editor, Language Speech and Hearing Services in the Schools. (2013 continuing)

Recent Grants Awarded

  • Macquarie University Safety Net Grant (2012) "Randomised control trials of treatment of specific language impairment." Smith-Lock, K.M. ($15,000)

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  • Smith-Lock, K., & Nickels, L. (2015). Cognitive basis for speech, language, and literacy. In S. McLeod & J. McCormac (Eds.), Introduction to Speech, Language and Literacy. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  • Smith-Lock, K., Nickels, L., & Mortensen, L. (2010). Story writing skills of adults with a history of language impairment. In R. Dale, D. Burnham, & C. Stevens (Ed.), Human Communication Science: A Compendium (pp. 51-71). Sydney: ARC Research Network in Human Comm. Science.

Periodicals

  • Colenbrander, D., Kohnen, S., Smith-Lock, K., & Nickels, L. (2016). Individual differences in the vocabulary skills of children with poor reading comprehension. Learning and Individual Differences, 50, 210-220. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2016.07.021
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (2015). Rule-based learning of regular past tense in children with specific language impairment. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 32(3-4), 221-242. doi:10.1080/02643294.2014.951610
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., Leitão, S., Prior, P., & Nickels, L. (2015). The effectiveness of two grammar treatmtent procedures for children with SLI: A randomized clinical trial. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 43, 312-324. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0041
  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K., Smith-Lock, K., & Petocz, P. (2015). Phonological and morphophonological effects on grammatical development in children with specific language impairment. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 50(4), 516-528. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12152
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., Leitão, S., Lambert, L., & Nickels, L. (2013). Effective intervention for expressive grammar in children with specific language impairment. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 48(3), 265-282. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12003
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., Leitão, S., Lambert, L., Prior, P., Dunn, A., Cronje, J., Newhouse, S., & Nickels, L. (2013). Daily or weekly? The role of treatment frequency in the effectiveness of grammar treatment for children with specific language impairment. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15, 255-267.
  • Mortensen, L., Smith-Lock, K.M., & Nickels, L. (2009). Text structure and patterns of cohesion in narrative texts written by adults with a history of language impairment. Reading and Writing, 22, 735-752.
  • Nickels, L., Kohnen, S., & Smith-Lock, K.M. (2009). Understanding and treating developmental literacy impairments using a cognitive neuropsychological approach. ACQuiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 11, 120-121.
  • Smith-Lock, K. (2009). Therapiematerialien [materials for intervention]. Patholingk, 14, 14-15.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (2009). My top 10 resources: Adult literacy. ACQuiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 11, 116-117.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., Mortensen, L., & Nickels, L. (2009). Story writing skills of adults with a history language-impairment. Reading and Writing, 22, 713-734. doi:10.1007/s11145-008-9138-6
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., & Nickels, L. (2005). Writing skills of adults with a history of SLI. Acquiring knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 7, 78-81.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (1995). Morphological usage and awareness in children with and without specific language impairment. Annuals of Dyslexia, 45, 163-185.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., & Rubin, H. (1993). Phonological and morphological analysis skills in young children. Journal of Child Language, 20, 437-454.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (1991). Error of inflection in the writing of normal and poor readers. Language and Speech, 34, 341-350.

Published Conference Proceedings

  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K., & Smith-Lock, K. (2012). Errors of omission and commission in verbal and nominal inflectional morphemes by children with SLI: Phonological effects and acoustic analysis. In F. Cox, K. Demuth, S. Lin, K. Miles, S. Palethorpe, J. Shaw, & I. Yuen (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th Speech Science and Technology Conference (pp. 101-104). Sydney: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Assoc.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., & Nickels, L. (2004). Reading and writing skills of adults with a history of specific-language impairment. In M. Katsikitis (Ed.), Psychological Science in Action: Proceedings of the 39th APS Annual Conference (pp. 224-224). Melbourne: Australian Psychological Society.

Conference Presentations, Colloquia, and other presentations

  • Smith-Lock, K. (2017, March). Teaching multi syllabic word decoding and spelling. Paper presented at the Language, Literacy and Learning Conference, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth.
  • Smith-Lock, K., & Leitao, S. (2016, May). Cuing techniques in expressive grammar treatment for children with SLI: What works? Paper presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, Perth.
  • Colenbrander, D., Nickels, L., Kohnen, S., & Smith-Lock, K. (2015, July). Factors associated with reading comprehension improvement after vocabulary training. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), Hawaii, USA.
  • Colenbrander, D., Kohnen, S., Nickels, L., & Smith-Lock, K. (2015, May). Putting the “comprehension” into reading comprehension. Colloquium at the MULTILIT Seminar Series, Sydney.
  • Colenbrander, D., Kohnen, S., Nickels, L., & Smith-Lock, K. (2014, July). The effects of improved oral vocabulary knowledge on reading comprehension - a randomized controlled trial. Paper presented at the 21st Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), Santa Fe, USA.
  • Colenbrander, D., Kohnen, S., Nickels, L., & Smith-Lock, K. (2014, July). Exploring the nature of the link between oral vocabulary and reading comprehension. Colloquium at the Psychology in Education Research Centre (PERC), University of York, York, UK.
  • Colenbrander, D., Kohnen, S., Nickels, L., & Smith-Lock, K. (2014, July). How do oral vocabulary skills affect reading comprehension? Colloquium at the Psychological and Educational Approaches to Reading and Language Support (PEARLS) Research Group, Leeds, UK.
  • Smith-Lock, K. (2014, July). Reading Comprehension. Presentation given at the Catholic Education Office, Southern Region, Sydney.
  • Colenbrander, D., Kohnen, S., Nickels, L., & Smith-Lock, K. (2014, June). A randomized controlled trial of oral vocabulary intervention for reading comprehension difficulties. Colloquium at the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Intervention, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
  • Colenbrander, D., Kohnen, S., Nickels, L., & Smith-Lock, K. (2014, June). Reading comprehension and oral vocabulary: What’s the connection? Colloquium at the Language and Cognitive Development (LCD) Research Group, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
  • Smith-Lock, K. (2014, June). Decoding multisyllabic words and fluency. Presentation given at the Catholic Education Office, Southern Region, Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K. (2014, May). Decoding. Presentation given at the Catholic Education Office, Southern Region, Sydney.
  • Colenbrander, D., Kohnen, S., Nickels, L., & Smith-Lock, K. (2013, November). Exploring the causal role of oral vocabulary in reading comprehension difficulties. Paper presented at the 7th Australian Cognitive Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Research Forum (ACNCN), Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (2013, November). Rule-based learning of regular past tense in children with specific language impairment. Paper presented at the 7th Australian Cognitive Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Research Forum (ACNCN), Sydney.
  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K., & Smith-Lock, K. (2013, September). Production of segmental and syllabic allomorphs by children with SLI. Poster session presented at the Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition (GALA 2013), Oldenburg, Germany.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., & Crain, S. (2013, July). How children with specific language impairment interpret scope ambiguities. Paper presented at the 19th International Congress of Linguists (19ICL), Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., Notley, A., Delane, L., & Crain, S. (2013, July). The independence of relative clause comprehension in children with specific language impairment. Paper presented at the 19th International Congress of Linguists (19ICL), Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K., & Smith-Lock, K. (2013, July). Phonological constraints on the production of grammatical morphemes by children with SLI. Paper presented at the 19th International Congress of Linguists (ICL), Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K., & Smith-Lock, K. (2013, April). Are the syllabic morphemes particularly challenging for children with hearing impairment? Evidence from TD and SLI speech. Paper presented at the Australian Hearing Hub Inaugural Conference, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K., & Smith-Lock, K. (2013, April). Are the syllabic allomorphs particularly challenging for hearing impaired children? Evidence from TD and SLI speech. Paper presented at the Australian Hearing Hub Inaugural Conference, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Tomas, E., Smith-Lock, K., & Demuth, K. (2012, December). Errors of omission and commission in verbal and nominal inflectional morphemes by children with SLI: Phonological effects and acoustic analysis. Paper presented at the 14th International Australasian Conference on Speech Science and Technology (SST), Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., Leitao, S., Lambert, L., & Nickels L. (2012, November). Effective Grammar Treatment for Children with SLI. Poster session presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, USA.
  • Smith-Lock, K. (2012, August). A comparison of grammar treatment techniques. Paper presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) Annual Workshop, Macquarie University, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K., & Smith-Lock, K. (2012, August). Phonological effects on SLI children’s production of verbal and nominal inflectional morphemes. Poster session presented at the Annual Workshop of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD), Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., Leitao, S., Lambert, L., Prior, P. Kronje, J. Newhouse, S. & Nickels L. (2012, June). Daily or Weekly? The effect of treatment frequency in grammar treatment of children with SLI. Paper presented at the Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) National Conference, Hobart.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (2012, May). Grammar intervention techniques in children with specific language impairment. Colloquium at the Professional Development Seminar, West Coast Language Development Centre, Perth.
  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K., & Smith-Lock, K. (2012, April). Production of grammatical morphemes by children diagnosed with SLI. Poster session presented at the 39th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K. (2012, March). Grammar intervention in children with Specific Language Impairment: How to do it!. Colloquium at the West Coast Language Development Centre, Department of Education, Perth.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., Leitao, S., Lambert, L., & Nickels L. (2012, January). Effective grammar treatment for children with SLI. Poster session presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, USA.
  • Smith-Lock, K., & Leitao, S. (2011, November). Grammar intervention in children with Specific Language Impairment: Results of an effectiveness study. Colloquium at the West Coast Language Development Center, Department of Education, West Australia.
  • Smith-Lock, K., & Leitão, S. (2011, November). Grammar intervention in children with Specific Language Impairment: Results of an effectiveness study. Colloquium at the West Coast Language Development Center, Department of Education, Ridgewood, WA, Australia.
  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K. & Smith-Lock, K. (2011, November). Phonological constrains on 3rd person singular -s by children with SLI. Paper presented at the Harvard-Australia Workshop, Sydney, Australia.
  • Tomas, E., Demuth, K. & Smith-Lock, K. (2011, November). Production of English 3rd person singular -s by children with SLI: “She tuts... She chuts... She touchses the fire!” Poster session presented at the Annual Workshop of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD), Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (2011, August). Grammar treatment in children with Specific Language Impairment. Colloquium at the Language Disorders Workshop, ARC Centre for Cognition and its Disorders, Sydney Australia..
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., & Leitao, S. (2011, May). Language treatment techniques. Colloquium at the West Coast Language Development Centre, Department of Education, West Australia.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., & Leitão, S. (2011, May). Language treatment techniques. Colloquium at the West Coast Language Development Centre, Department of Education, Ridgewood, WA, Australia.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (2011, March). Treatment effectiveness research. Colloquium at the Principals’ Forum, Language Development Centres, Department of Education, West Australia.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (2011, January). Teach the code, know the code. Colloquium at the Methodist Ladies’ College, Perth, W.A.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., & Leitao S. (2010, October). Towards evidence -based practice: Effectiveness of a school-based intervention program for children with SLI. Symposium conducted at the Fremantle Language Development Centre, Department of Education, West Australia.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., & Leitão S. (2010, October). Towards evidence -based practice: Effectiveness of a school-based intervention program for children with SLI. Paper presented at the Fremantle Language Development Centre, Department of Education, Fremantle, WA, Australia.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M., & Leitao, S., (2010, April). Language intervention techniques. Colloquium at the Fremantle Language Development Centre, Department of Education, West Australia.
  • Kohnen, S., Smith-Lock, K. & Nickels, L. (2009, July). Which children with spelling difficulties might benefit from spelling pronunciations? Paper presented at the 5th Australian Cognitive Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Research Forum, Sydney, Australia.
  • Smith-Lock, K. M., Nickels, L. A. & Mortensen, L. (2008, September). Telling the Story of Cinderella: Oral and Written Language Skills in Adults with a History of Language Impairment. Paper presented at the HCSNet Workshop on Narrative and Communication Disorders, Melbourne.
  • Mortensen, L., Smith-Lock, K.M., & Nickels, L.A. (2007, December). Organisation and coherence in narrative texts written by adults with a history of specific language impairment. Paper presented at the HCSNet Workshop on Cognitive Science and Text, Leura.
  • Smith-Lock, K. M., Nickels, L.A., & Mortensen, L. (2007, December). Story Writing Skills of Adults with a History Language-Impairment. Paper presented at the HCSNet Workshop on Cognitive Science and Text, Leura, Australia.
  • Mortensen, L., Smith-Lock, K.M., & Nickels, L.A. (2007, May). Features of text organisation and coherence in stories written by adults with a history of specific language impairment. Paper presented at the Speech Pathology Australia Conference, Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. & Nickels, L.A. (2006, May). Does SLI in Childhood lead to Writing Difficulties in Adulthood? Paper presented at the National Conference of Speech Pathology Australia, Fremantle.
  • Nickels, L.A., McGlynn, H., Smith-Lock, K., Kohnen, S., & Whedall, K. (2006, March). What affects the success of an intervention programme for older low progress readers? Paper presented at the Inaugural Conference on Clinical and Research Perspectives in Developmental Neuropsychology, Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K., Kohnen, S., Nickels, L.A., & McGlynn, H. (2006, March). Developmental literacy impairments in adulthood. Paper presented at the Inaugural Conference on Clinical and Research Perspectives in Developmental Neuropsychology, Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. & Nickels, L.A. (2004, October). Reading and writing skills of adults with a history of specific-language impairment. Paper presented at the 39th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference, Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. & Kennedy, A. (1996, April). Morphological awareness and the representation of morphology in writing. Paper presented at the 13th Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology Conference, The University of Western Australia, Perth.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (1994, April). The development of morphological analysis skills: A two-year follow-up. Paper presented at the 11th Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology Conference, The University of Sydney.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (1994, January). The acquisition of the passive by normal and specifically language impaired children. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Boston, USA.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (1993, April). Morphological skills in normal and specifically-language-impaired children. Paper presented at the 10th Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology Conference, The University of Melbourne.
  • Smith-Lock, K.M. (1993, February). Specific language impairment and the acquisition of the passive. Paper presented at the Language and Speech Conference, Sydney.

Further Information

Contact Details

Telephone: +61 2 9850 4127
Email : ccd@mq.edu.au
Web : www.ccd.edu.au

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