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Dr Jill Hohenstein is a Reader in Psychology and Language Development in the School of Education, Communication & Society. She was also Associate Dean (Doctoral Studies) for the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy from 2018 to 2022.


Dr Hohenstein's research interests are guided by an overarching question focussing on the relationship between language and cognition in development (with children and adults). This work follows a few different directions, with two main strands:

  1. The first thread of research investigates the structure of language as it is related to cognition, both in monolinguals and in learners of a second language. Primarily this work has focused on motion event language in so-called verb-framed and satellite-framed languages as well as recently in the equipollently-framed language of Mandarin Chinese. In addition, this research explores the ways that metaphorical and literal motion events are processed by speakers of different languages.
  2. The second line of research addresses the ways that children and other learners gain insights about the world through everyday or informal conversation, primarily in science-related topics. Some of this work has been conducted in conjunction with museums; whereas other studies have involved families in their home environments. This set of studies focuses, in particular, on explanations and questions in family conversation to understand the development of dialogic practice as related to cognitive development.


  • BA English Language & Linguistics: Language Development; Language, Culture & Mind
  • MA module (open to multiple degrees: Psychology and Learning
  • MA Language and Cultural Diversity: Language, Culture & Mind
  • Quantitative Methodology Teaching: PhD cause and effect, PhD basics of quantitative methods, MA Dissertation workshops on Quantitative Methods
  • Co-organiser: Language, Mind & Society

PhD supervision

Jill is taking new students in areas related to: 

  • language and cognition and the development of each
  • informal contexts and science learning
  • museum learning
  • parent-child conversation as related to conceptual development
  • psychological aspects of formal education
  • inter-relations between science and humanities education

Further information

For further details, you can view Jill's research staff profile.