Learning words with animals!

Learning words with animals!

Rutgers Laboratory for Developmental Language Studies (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick)

Who Can Participate

For 3.5- to 6.5-year-olds

What Happens

This study will take place on a video call, live with a researcher! Clicking on the “Schedule a time to participate” button will send you to an online calendar where you can select a date and time that works for you. During the zoom session, your child will interact with a live researcher and watch some videos featuring some friendly animals. We'll ask your child to watch and listen carefully, because the language in their conversations will give your child some very important clues about what the new words in those conversations mean. After each short animal conversation, your child will hear the new word again, and see two images on screen. We'll ask your child to pick between the images by pointing to one or the other, to help us determine the meaning they might have assigned to the new words. Along the way, as your child participates, they'll help the animals plan a fun party!

What We're Studying

In this study, we’re interested in how the language a child already knows can help them learn brand-new words. We’re especially interested in words like adjectives. These aren’t necessarily the first words children produce or learn, but all grown-up adults use them, and they’re especially important when children learn to read, write, and describe the world around them. The more we know about how information supports learning adjectives, the more we understand about language development as a whole. This particular study looks at what kinds of expectations we have when we hear adjectives in conversation.


15 minutes


$5 Amazon.com gift card. After you finish the study, we will email you an Amazon gift card within 1 week. To be eligible for compensation, the following criteria must be met: (1) your child must be in the age range for this study and must not have previously done this study; (2) You must have provided informed consent.

This study is conducted by Dr. Kristen Syrett (contact: kristen.syrett@rutgers.edu)

Would you like to participate in this study?