Athanasia Papastergiou

Dr Athanasia Papastergiou

BEd (Hons), MSc, PhD, FHEA

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Dr Athanasia Papastergiou is a Lecturer in the Division of Psychology, Communication and Human Neuroscience, at the School of Health Sciences.

Athanasia's research examines language and cognitive development in bilingual and monolingual children, with a particular focus on heritage speakers and young second language learners. Her work also investigates vocabulary, grammar, reading and listening comprehension in both typically and atypically developing children. She collaborates closely with schools and is interested in understanding how bilingual language and cognitive skills, such as executive functions, are shaped.

She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Before joining the University of Manchester in August 2023, Athanasia was a Lecturer in Bilingualism (Linguistics) in the Department of Linguistics, English Language and Bilingualism, as well as Senior Tutor in the School of Arts, Culture and Language at Bangor University. She has also worked on various projects as a Research Fellow and as a Research Assistant at Lancaster University, the University of Bath, Bangor University and the University of Greenwich. She was awarded an ESRC-DTC Wales PhD studentship at Bangor University in Bilingualism in 2014 under the supervision of Dr Eirini Sanoudaki focusing on language and cognitive skills of Greek-English bilingual children in the U.K. 

Research interests

▪ Bi/Multilingualism, with emphasis on language and cognitive development of children.
▪ Language and cognitive development of heritage speakers and second language learners.
▪ Reading and listening comprehension of typically and atypically developing children. 
▪ Executive functioning skills of monolingual and bilingual populations.
▪ Typical and atypical child development.

If you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in these or related areas, please contact me via email:


My collaborations

Child Bilingualism Lab

Institution: Bangor University

Department: School of Linguistics and English Language


PhD Bilingualism (Linguistics), Bangor University, U.K.

MSc Developmental Disorders, Lancaster University, U.K.

BEd Primary Education (Qualified Teacher Status; QTS), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Supervision information

PhD Supervision

  • Maryam Awawdeh. Exploring the reading comprehension of Arabic-English bilingual children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). ESRC-Wales DTP studentship in Bilingualism - Bangor University. Start date October 2022. Co-supervision with Dr Eirini Sanoudaki. 
  • Amjad Owais. Exploring the Efficacy of Translanguaging: Impact on English Grammar Proficiency and Student Perceptions in Beginner-Level EFL Classrooms. Bangor University. Start date March 2022. Co-supervision with Dr Tanya Hathaway.

  • Bethan Collins. Language and cognitive development in Welsh-English bilingual children. ESRC-Wales DTP studentship in Bilingualism - Bangor University. Start date October 2021. Co-supervision with Dr Eirini Sanoudaki. 

Second Supervisor
Basim Almankhi. One generation and two different age groups on arrival:
Arabic-English code-switching in the conversations of Iraqi Arabic immigrants living in Greater Manchester. Second Supervisor from March 2022. Principal Supervisor: Dr Peredur Webb-Davies. Completed June 2023. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Bilingualism (Linguistics), Bangor University

Master in Science, Developmental Disorders, Lancaster University

Bachelor of Education, Primary Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


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