How many languages do monolingual babies expect others to speak?

How many languages do monolingual babies expect others to speak?

Cognition and Language Learning Research Group (Dalhousie University)

Who Can Participate

For 15-24-month-old monolingual English toddlers

What Happens

This study will take place on a website called Labvanced, which (similar to Lookit) will use your webcam and microphone while the study takes place on screen. First, you will complete a demographics questionnaire. Then, your toddler will see people of different races speaking different languages. We will see how long your toddler looks at each person.

What We're Studying

Children in North America are learning language in a socially (e.g., ethnicity) and linguistically (e.g., accents) diverse environment. Therefore, we hope to better understand how these factors influence the assumptions toddlers make about new speakers. Specifically, in this study we will see if toddlers are surprised when the same person speaks more than one language, and whether this depends on how familiar they are with people of that person’s race. This study will provide us insight into how social characteristics (i.e., race) interact with toddlers assumptions about language and the linguistically diverse environment they see around them.


20 minutes


Participants will be entered for a chance to win a $150 CAD giftcard. Eligible US participants will receive the appropriate conversion of $150 CAD to USD on the given date of the draw. Gift card draw will occur once data collection has stopped (expected to be February 2024). To be entered into the draw, you must enter your email on the final page before you exit the study. If you choose to exit the study prior to reaching the final page, please contact the researchers about your entry in the draw. To be eligible for this draw, your child must be in the described age range and be visible at some point in the session. You will receive one entry per child that completes the study. Once a winner has been chosen, they will be notified of the results of the draw through email.

This study is conducted by Dr. Drew Weatherhead (contact:

Would you like to participate in this study?