Murphy, Professor Victoria

Prof. Victoria Murphy

Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Department of Education, University of Oxford

Academic background

Victoria Murphy is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Department of Education, University of Oxford.  Victoria’s research focuses on understanding the inter-relationships between child L2/FL learning, vocabulary and literacy development.  Her work examines cross-linguistic relationships across linguistic systems in the emergent bilingual child and how foreign language learning in primary school can influence developing first language literacy.  Her work has been funded by ESRC, The Leverhulme Trust, The Nuffield Foundation and the Educational Endowment Foundation, among others, and she has published two books on the topic of young language learners, as well as numerous refereed journal articles and book chapters. Victoria was Chair of NALDIC (National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum) [] between 2018-2021 and has worked closely with teachers across the UK and internationally in support of Language in Education programmes.



  • A.H. Linguistics/Psychology – Queen’s University, Canada
  • A. Educational Psychology – McGill University, Canada
  • D. – Second Language Education – McGill University, Canada

Research interests



  • Supporting the development of Indian primary school children’s reading comprehension skills: A scaffolding-based intervention”. CI with I. Tsimpli (PI) & L. Mukhapoadhyay. British Academy – Humanities and Social Sciences Tackling Global Challenges


  • “Improving the oral language skills of children with English as an Additional Language through a drama-based intervention” CI with Faidra Faitaki.

Victoria welcomes doctoral applications from students interested in the following research areas:

  • Language and literacy development in multilingual children
  • Child L2 and bilingualism
  • Foreign language learning in primary school
  • Lexical development and morphosyntax in L1 and L2 learners

Featured Publications

Hamilton, C. & Murphy, V.A. (2023). Folk pedagogy? Investigating how and why UK early years and primary teachers use songs with young learners. Education 3-13


Booton, S., Hoicka, E., O’Grady, A.M., Chan, H.Y.N., & Murphy, V.A. (2021). Children’s creativity and bilingualism. Thinking Skills and Creativity.


Booton, S.A., Wonnacott, E., Hodgkiss, A., Mathers, S. & Murphy, V.A. (2021). Children’s knowledge of multiple word meanings: Which factors count and for whom? Applied Linguistics


Booton, S.A., Hodgkiss, A. & Murphy, V.A. (2021). The impact of mobile application features on language and literacy learning in young children: A systematic review.  Computer Assisted Language Learning.


                Hakimi, L., Eynon, R. & Murphy, V.A. (2021). The ethics of using digital trace data in education: A thematic review of the research landscape.  Review of Educational Research.

Coolen, I., Merkley, R., Ansari, D., Dove, E., Dowker, A., Mills, A., Murphy, V.A., von Spreckelsen, M. & Scerif, G. (2021). Domain-general and domain-specific influences on emerging numerical cognition: Contrasting uni- and bidirectional prediction models. Cognition, 215,

Booton, S.A., Hodgkiss, A., Mathers, S. & Murphy, V.A. (2021). A new test of multiple word meanings predicts reading comprehension for children with English as a first and an additional language.  Journal of Child Language 


                Kan, R. & Murphy, V.A. (2020).  Effects of frequency and idiomaticity on second language reading comprehension in children with English as an additional language.  Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 10(3), 579-605.


Hessel, A.K., Nation, K. & Murphy, V.A. (2020).  English as an additional language learners’ comprehension monitoring during reading:  An eye-tracking study.  Scientific Studies of Reading


Murphy, V.A., Arndt, H., Briggs Baffoe-Djan, J., Chalmers, H., Macaro, E., Rose, H., Vanderplank, R & Woore, R. (2020). Foreign language learning and its impact on wider academic outcomes: A rapid evidence assessment. London: Education Endowment Foundation.