Dr Nia Williams

Name
Nia Williams
Position
Researcher, Lecturer
Email
nia.williams@bangor.ac.uk
Phone
01248 383026
Location
Room 107, Trefenai, Normal Site, Bangor University

Dr Nia Williams is a lecturer and researcher at Bangor University. She graduated with a degree in Psychology from Bangor University in 2009, before heading to work as a teacher in Hong Kong. She returned to North Wales after receiving a KESS and S4C funded PhD scholarship. Her PhD investigated how children’s Welsh television programmes can support Welsh acquisition among L2 English children in schools and at home.

Today, her research work focuses on both child psychology and child development, and she works collaboratively with practitioners in education and other sectors on a wide range of topics relating to child psychology, child development, language development and bilingualism.

Over the years Nia has worked with many organisations on a variety of projects including GL Assessment evaluating the Baseline Assessment Tool; the new standardised online software designed to measure mathematical, language and communication skills as well as phonological awareness in 4-5 year old children.

Nia was also the lead researcher for the Premier League Reading Stars Cymru reading programme, designed for children and teenagers (National Literacy Trust) and for The Family Learning Signature, a family-based programme helping education authorities to improve attainment, attendance and behaviour, particularly with hard to reach families and disengaged learners.

In addition, she has been involved in investigating Welsh-English educational provision in North Wales, exploring the implications for language policies and researching various language development programmes provided by Welsh councils supporting 3-16 year olds.

Nia was a member of the original team who helped develop the @TiFiaCyw twitter service for parents and children and recently worked with Public Health Wales promoting parent-child interaction in the first 1000 days.

Finally, Nia was one of the psychologist on the award winning Hen Blant Bach and The Toddlers Who Took on Dementia research projects and television programmes for Darlun TV, S4C, Sony Pictures, and BBC Wales. These programmes have gained international recognition and have motivated several settings to engage in similar projects. Nia is a regular contributor to various TV and Radio shows as an expert informant. She’s a named collaborator for the National Centre for Population, Health and Wellbeing Research and Deputy Chair for the School of Education Ethics Committee.

Research interest

Child development, Child Psychology, Language Acquisition, Criminal Behaviour

Current research projects

Back to the Future: Using VR technology to bridge generations, share stories and prompt those special memories.

Current Postgraduate Research Projects Supervised:

PhD: Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: Developing and Evaluating Digital Competency Teaching Model for Primary School Teachers.

EdD: Can student wellbeing and behaviour be supported through transactional analysis and a holistic approach to wellbeing combined with education?

EdD: Breaking down the Stigma: An implementation of Mental Health Awareness within the Curriculum

MRes: Building Resilience in Future Teachers


MRes: Investing psychological benefits of intergenerational care on both adults and Children.

Masters: Investigating the relationship between online game addiction, aggression, self-control and academic achievement in young adults.

Previous research

Evaluating the Masters in Education Practice (Cardiff University)

Premier League Reading Stars project with the National Literacy Trust. Managing the Welsh research project which evaluates this dynamic programme designed to capture the motivational power of football to inspire young people to read more and improve their literacy skills. http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/news/6184

Family Learning Signature - Evaluating the Welsh roll out of this unique and engaging tool designed to help education authorities improve attainment, attendance and behaviour, particularly with hard to reach families and disengaged learners. Developed by the Business Lab in collaboration with Community First it’s the first Welsh Educational intervention of its kind.http://www.businesslab.co.uk/tools/family-learning-signature

Acquiring complex structures under minority language conditions: bilingual acquisition of plural morphology in Welsh. This project was partly funded by the Development Fund Grant from the ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism in Theory and Practice. See paper http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9275348&fileId=S1366728913000497

Post 16 Bilingual education provision; what are the provisions for studying bilingually? This project is carried out in collaboration with the Consortium & Welsh Assembly Government. The aims are to investigate current educational Welsh-English provisions in North Wales and explore implications for language policies. 

Research various language development programmes provided by Welsh councils supporting 3-16 year olds. This project was run by Cwmni Iaith for the Language Commissioner at the Welsh Government.
Issues in the design of a bilingual student questionnaire: helping students identify best teaching and learning practice in monolingual and bilingual programmes.

Promoting parent-child interaction in the first 1000 days. Public Health Wales

Hen Blant Bach & The Toddlers Who Took on Dementia : Investigating the psychological impact of intergenerational care. This intergenerational project is a social experiment looking at the impact of combining day care for nursery children and the elderly. Designed in the same format as "The secret life of a 4 year old" this fly on the wall documentary/research project will see both generations participate in various tasks/experiments. This project has already become a television series for S4C. There was also an English programme “The Toddlers Who Took on Dementia” filmed in a specific centre which aired in February 2018. These programmes have gained international recognition and won the Silver Medal in the Community Portraits Documentary category at the New York TV and Film Festival and won best Factual Entertainment at the Celtic Film Awards. See below:

https://www.bangor.ac.uk/doctoral-school/news/hen-blant-bach-wins-silver-in-international-film-television-award-36444

https://wales247.co.uk/s4c-takes-silver-bronze-at-the-2018-ny-international-festival-awards/

http://www.celticmediafestival.co.uk/view-entry/4033

See video Clips of this project:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b3kk1h

See articles relating to this project:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-38269159

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-documentary-showcases-unique-social-12350743

http://www.cadr.cymru/en/news-info.htm?id=74

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/spending-time-with-toddlers-helps-elderly-fight-dementia-t5tshx7qr

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/special-features/christmas-through-eyes-two-generations-14033568

http://www.cambriannews.co.uk/article.cfm?id=118151&headline=Young%20visitors%20%E2%80%98help%20elderly%20dementia%20sufferers%E2%80%99&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2017
https://www.southwalesguardian.co.uk/news/15709082.watch-heart-warming-video-shows-children-bonding-with-pensioners-in-care-home/

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/news/1160195/intergenerational-care-bringing-old-and-young-together

https://ceredigionherald.com/39220/tears-laughter-young-old-share-experiences/

https://www.nwha.org.uk/news-and-events/news/extra-care-goes-the-extra-mile/

http://linkis.com/www.dailypost.co.uk/IHdik


http://www.thebangoraye.com/hen-blant-bach-happens-pre-schoolers-share-day-care-pensioners/

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/pensioners-came-alive-put-day-14013448

Product/Service Development

Nia worked closely with S4C television channel to help develop and deliver the @TiFiaCyw twitter service. This innovative service is designed to encourage non-Welsh speaking parents and children to interact and learn Welsh whilst watching Welsh television. This service offers live Twitter feed which coincides with the programmes, offering explanations of Welsh words, meanings as well as pronunciations. Please see: https://twitter.com/tifiacyw

GL Baseline Assessment tool (DfE approved) - new online software designed to measure mathematical, language and communication skills as well as phonological awareness in 4-5 year old children. This research project evaluated the product effectiveness and accessibility in schools resulting in valuable User Experience (UX) feedback http://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/products/baseline-reception-baseline-assessment

Research Grants

Post 16 bilingual provision: Post 16 Education Consortium & Welsh Assembly Government (Roberts, Thomas, Williams, Young & Jones, £35,787)

3-16 Welsh provision, Cwmni Iaith (Jones, Thomas, Williams, £10,980)

Using Football to increase literacy, Welsh Assembly Goverment (Ware & Thomas, Williams, Young, Kyffin, Elliot, £16,667)

Evaluating interventions for Community First Schools (Thomas & Williams, £6000)

GL Assessment: “Evaluating the new baseline assessment tool” (Williams, £9638.00)

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol: “Prosiect adnabod patrymau sillafu plant â phroblemau llythrennedd yn y Gymraeg” (Thomas, Lloyd-Williams, Young & Williams , £2464.94)

Publications

Williams, N. & Thomas, E. M. (in preparation). Language transmission in the home: issues and solutions in minority language contexts. To be submitted to Journal of Sociolinguistics

Williams, N. & Thomas, E. M. (in preparation) An evaluative comparison of minority language input sources as means of supporting the early development of L2 vocabulary and grammar. To be submitted to Journal of Applied Sociolinguistics

Williams, N. & Thomas, E. M. (in preparation). Acquiring lexical and morphosyntactic knowledge in a minority language: the role of minority language television as a source of early language input. To be submitted to Applied Psycholinguistics.

Williams, N. and Thomas, E. (2017). Exploring minority language input sources as means of supporting the early development of L2 vocabulary and grammar. Applied Psycholinguistics, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0142716416000473. ISSN 1469-1817

Thomas, E.M., Lloyd-Williams, S., Young, N.E., & Williams, N. (2015). Exposing the hidden complexities of a transparent orthography: good and poor readers’ spelling difficulties in relation to plural morphology in Welsh. To submit to Applied Psycholinguistics.

Thomas, E. M., Williams, N., Jones, Ll. A., Davies, S., & Binks, H. (2013). Acquiring complex structures under minority language conditions: bilingual acquisition of plural morphology in Welsh. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.

Responsibilities

Year 2: Psychopathology in Children and Adolescents
Year 2: Seicopatholeg Ymhlith Plant a’r Ifanc
Year 3: Psychology of Childhood and Crime
Year 3: Seicoleg Plentyndod a Throseddu
Project Supervisor Level 5, 6, & 7
Head of Year 2: Responsible for Year 2 students who are studying on our course
Deputy Chair School of Education Ethics Committee
Member of the COHABS and School of Education Marketing committees
Editor on the Bangor School of Education Website
International Exchange Officer: Responsible for International students who are studying at the School of Education,