Personal profile


Wolfgang is a Reader with background in Special Education, specialising in (sign) language development and assessment, who joined the University of Roehampton in 2014. He is also an associate at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College London (UCL) and a honorary fellow at City University London, Division of Language & Communication Science.


BA in Sign Language Studies, University of Hamburg

MA in Special Education, San Francisco State University

Ph.D. in Special Education, University of California Berkeley

PGCE in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University College London

Research interests

Language and cognitive development during early childhood, bilingualism, sign language acquisition and assessment, use of new technologies within the context of language assessment, equity and diversity in education.

Research projects

Wolfgang's recent research focuses on reading comprehension of online text. This British Academy/Leverhulme-funded project is a collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and the University of Birmingham to explore strategies used by deaf and hearing children aged 9-12 years when reading text or carrying out searches on the Internet.

In his previous research Wolfgang focused on the relationship between linguistic and -non-linguistic cognitive processes, comparing the spoken and signed language vocabulary of deaf children. This EU-funded work studied different kinds, or aspects, of cognitive processes for representation of word/sign knowledge recruited by the differences in linguistic structure of the modality used. Using a combination of traditional and dynamic assessments, the project demonstrated how information obtained from assessment procedures can be closely integrated with intervention. As part of this project, Wolfgang worked closely with colleagues at City University London and the University of Texas at Austin where he developed and piloted a web-based vocabulary test for American Sign Language and a set of dynamic assessment procedures for use with signing deaf children.

Other research projects included a study on the origins of Theory of Mind in deaf toddlers in collaboration with Professor Gary Morgan (City) and Professor Michael Siegal (University of Sheffield), a study which explores deaf adults' perception of the speed of information delivered on TV in British Sign Language with Christine Kretschmer from the Centre for Creative Writing, Translation and Publishing (City), and a study on home language environment and spoken English in deaf children with cochlear implants from homes where English is an additional language, in collaboration with Dr. Merle Mahon (UCL), the Ear Institute, and Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

Wolfgang has developed several sign language tests, including the Web-based British Sign Language Vocabulary test (BSL-VT), the BSL Nonsign Repetition Task (NSRT), and the Web-based American Sign Language Vocabulary Test (ASL-VT).

Professional affiliations

Fellow of Higher Education Academy

British Educational Research Association (BERA)

British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD)

Consultancy work

Wolfgang has been a governor at Hamilton Lodge School and College for the Deaf, Brighton since 2013.


Language and cognitive development

Language and literacy

Research methodology and enquiry


External positions

External Examiner, Institute of Education, University of London

1 Aug 2019 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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