Dr Linda Watson

Dr Linda Watson

School of Education
Honorary Senior Lecturer (Deafness and Hearing Impairment)

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Linda has a background of experience as a teacher of the deaf and educational audiologist and her research and teaching are rooted in this experience. She is particularly interested in the early language and literacy development of young deaf children and how this can be enhanced by the use of cochlear implants and/or digital hearing aids. She has a collaboration with the University of Melbourne where colleagues share these specialist research interests.

The School of Education has the largest course for providing training for teachers who wish to gain the mandatory qualification to teach deaf children, and Linda is programme co-ordinator.

Linda brings to all her roles skills gained from training as a counsellor and she is interested in the role of role of supervision of educational psychologists and teachers of pupils with special needs.

Linda Watson is also editor of Deafness and Education International, the journal of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf and the Australian Association of Teachers of the Deaf and she can be seen here, giving an overview of the diverse and multidisciplinary topics covered by the journal (Copyright Maney Publishing) 


  • PhD (Manchester)
  • MA (Oxford Brookes)
  • Diploma in Audiology (Manchester)
  • BA (Hull); Certificate for Teachers of the Deaf (Manchester)


Linda Watson is a member of Department for Disability Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN), which comprises a large group of academics that is recognised for its excellence in researching and teaching in both general and specific areas of disability and special needs and educational psychology. In this role she supports the department and its members in the strategic development of teaching and research related to disability, special needs and educational psychology.

She is joint programme co-ordinator for courses in deaf education that lead to the mandatory qualification as a teacher of the deaf. She contributes sessions related to deafness to other programmes at different levels, including training of educational psychologists.


Linda's research interests are:

  • Language and literacy development of young deaf children
  • Role of parents of deaf children in supporting their child’s language and literacy development
  • Use of cochlear implants and digital hearing aids to aid the development of deaf children’s spoken language
  • Quality of training of teachers of deaf pupils

Funded research:

  • Universitas 21 award Early intervention to support the language and literacy development of deaf children – insights from work at the University of Birmingham and the University of Melbourne
  • ESRC award RES-000-22-0968 Deaf Children’s Literacy at Home: Implications for Early Intervention, in collaboration with Dr Ruth Swanwick, University of Leeds.
  • Children’s communication mode five years after cochlear implantation, in collaboration with The Ear Foundation. Funded by NDCS.


Selected Publications

Watson, LM. (2009) Deaf children and communication approaches. In Newton, V. (Ed) Paediatric Audiological Medicine. Chichester: Wiley

Wheele,r A., Archbold, SM., Hardie, T. and Watson, LM. (2009) Children with cochlear implants: The communication journey. Cochlear Implants International. DOI: 10.1002/cii370 10(1)41-62

Watson, LM., Hardie, T., Archbold, SM. and Wheeler, A. (2008) Parents' Views on Changing Communication After Cochlear Implantation. The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. Doi: 10.1093/deafed/enm036. 13(1)104-116. ISSN 1081-4159.

Watson, L. and Swanwick, R. (2008) Parents’ and teachers’ views on deaf children’s literacy at home: Do they agree? Deafness and Education International. Doi 10.1002/dei235. 10(1) 22-39. ISSN 1464-3154.

Swanwick, R. and Watson, L. (2007) Parents sharing books with young deaf children in spoken English and in BSL: The common and diverse features of different language settings. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. 12,3,pp 385-405 ISSN 1081-4159.

Watson, LM. Archbold, S. and Nikolopoulos, T. (2006) Children’s communication mode five years after cochlear implantation: Changes over time according to age at implant. Cochlear Implants International 7(2) pp 77-91.

Full publication list for Dr Linda Watson