What are our studies like?
Our studies involve short, age-appropriate language games presented on (a) an iPad or laptop, (b) a computer screen with non-invasive eye tracking equipment, the Eyelink Portable DUO from SR Research, or (c) with puppets or toys and good old-fashioned pen & paper. You can remain with your child throughout, although if you opt to also participate as an adult control we will provide you with noise cancellation headphones and ask that you avoid watching the visual stimuli, so as not to spoil your data.
Our eye tracker is high-tech and absolutely amazing for research with young children! It uses the tiny reflections of the screen on your child’s eyes to track what your child is paying attention to onscreen. This means that your child can sit back and enjoy listening to stories and looking at pictures and we can see how they interpret what they hear. We can use this high-tech device to see how very young child understand language.
What times can we come in?
If you’re interested in visiting, we’ll contact you to tell you more about our current studies and to give you the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have. We’ll work with you to find a convenient time to come in, and provide you with written information and consent forms to review prior to your visit. We schedule visits during regular business hours, and on the weekends if that’s more convenient.
How long does a study take?
While our studies typically take about 15 minutes working with your child, we allow up to an hour for any visit so you have lots of time to ask questions both before and after, and so your child can get comfortable with the new space and new people. We also welcome you to do the same study as your child, as an adult control if you would like to experience a child language study firsthand!
Where do studies take place?
For directions see How to Find Us. When you arrive, let the security at the Linguistics Department at 10 Washington Place know you’re here for the Child Language Lab. We’ll meet you and bring you to Rm. 208 to review our consent forms and ask any questions you may have. Your child can play with our stuffed animals or draw as he or she settles in. We’ll then go next door to Rm. 209 to participate in state-of-the-art child language research! You can stay with your child the whole time, or enjoy a coffee in the lounge.
Can I bring more than one child? What if I have an infant with me?
Yes! If you have more than one child of participating age, we can work with them in a single visit. Likewise, if you have non-participating children, they are very welcome to come along to the lab. Since we work one-on-one with each child during the study, please allow an extra 20 minutes per participating child.
While siblings wait, they can play with our collection of toys and coloring books in Rm. 208. We will make sure that extra Child Language Lab staff are available to help out.
Amenities: We have a private bathroom just across the hall from the lab rooms, and a changing pad and a child step-stool for your convenience. We also can provide you with coffee, tea, or water during your visit.