Learning to Learn Words!

Learning to Learn Words!

Illinois Language Acquisition Lab (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Who Can Participate

22- to 25-month-olds who hear English at home and live in the United States

What Happens

This study will take place on a video call, live with a researcher! Clicking on the “Participate Now!” button will send you to an online calendar where you can select a date and time that works for you. On the day before the video call, your child will watch a 5-minute learning video to get familiar with the study. During the video call, we will measure what they've learned from the learning video. Your child will see two puppet videos on the screen, and hear sentences that match one of the videos. We're interested in which video your child looks at longer, as this will help us understand how they understand words and sentences.

What We're Studying

Lots of ordinary words have different meanings. To figure out what they mean, children can use their recent experiences, such as what a conversation has been about or the unique way a person speaks. Previous research has found that preschool children can use the current context to figure out how they should interpret new ambiguous sentences and made-up words they never heard before. In this study, we ask whether younger children can do the same. This will help us understand how infants and toddlers use different kinds of information to make predictions of familiar words and learn new words.


30 minutes


We will email you a $5 Amazon.com gift card within a week after you participate in this study. To be eligible for the gift card, your child must 1) meet the eligibility criteria for this study, 2) watch the learning video one day before the scheduled session, and 3) show up for the scheduled session. Each child is eligible to participate in the study and receive a gift card only once. You and your child do not need to finish the whole study to receive the gift card.

This study is conducted by Cynthia Fisher (contact: lalab@illinois.edu).

Would you like to participate in this study?