This lab, started in Fall 2008, is dedicated to understanding how infants and toddlers
two years old and under learn to speak their first language. With the older
age groups, we are especially interested in what infants know about the
properties of their language, such as which sounds belong together. With the younger ages, we look at what skills infants
bring to the task of listening to the language, such as sensitivities to the
melodic properties of language, and how these skills influence their ability
to learn their first language. Most of our research involves perceptual
studies of infants. In these studies, we play sounds and video for infants. By
measuring their interest in what they are seeing and hearing, we can learn
about what they understand and perceive about the world around them. We also
collect recordings of language that infants hear in different environments and
analyze different characteristics of those language environments.
We are always looking for volunteers (babies and their parents or
guardians) to come into our lab and participate in our studies. A typical
visit takes less than 30 minutes, and you will receive a small gift from us
for participating, as well as parking or bus fare reimbursement, and an
enjoyable experience in our lab. Sometimes we will do an assessment of your
child's development called the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler
Development. This takes about an hour.
We are especially interested in recruiting:
Infants from bilingual French/English or German/English households
Preterm infants (infants born at fewer than 37 weeks) to participate in
a study on the effects of gestational age on infant speech perception
Adolescent mothers to participate in a study on the language environment
of infants born to young mothers
Please give us a call or view the links below to learn more. We hope to see
We are delighted to announce that the Baby Language Lab, together with a
number of collaborators, has been awarded the
Into Data grant from the Trans-Atlantic Platform. This project
close to a dozen laboratories across 6 countries and is exploring
similarities and differences in the language experiences of infants in
different language and cultural environments.
June 2017: Congratulations to Jessica Klassen, Mercedes Mulaire, and Aleah
Fontaine for obtaining their undergraduate degrees this May.
June 2017: Congratulations to Aleah Fontaine (University of Manitoba) and
Jessica Klassen (University of Alberta) for their admission to graduate
June 2017: Congratulations to lab alum Jona Frohlich for her acceptance to
the PhD program here at the University of Manitoba. Jona returns to our
department after completing a Masters program at the University of
June 2017: Congratulations to Kelsey Dyck for her summer undergraduate
research award (URA) and Sarah MacEwan for her summer intership award from
Summer 2016: Congratulations to Karmen McDivitt on successfully defending
her Master's thesis.
June 2016: Congratulations to Jacquelyn Klassen, Alex Holt, Amy
Wachtendorf, Michael Whyte, and Janelle Lee on completing their honours
degrees with research in our lab, and Amy Langidge and Lindsay Huska for
completing their degree programs.
June 2016: Congratulations to Jacquelyn Klassen on receiving a summer
internship through CHRIM, to Alex Holt for her summer PURE award, and to
Kelsey Dyck for receiving a URA summer internship.
June 2016: Congratulations to Lindsay Huska, Jacquelyn Klassen and Alex
Holt on their acceptance to the Psychology Masters program at UofM, and
Amy Langridge for her acceptance to the Speech Language Pathology at
University of Toronto.
June 2016: Congratulations to Brenna Henrikson on her Masters fellowship
award from NSERC.
June 2016: We recently returned from the International Congress on Infant
Studies, with a total of 7 presentations from our lab!
Baby Language Lab in the News
Dr Soderstrom appeared on two local morning programs (CTV and Global) in
February 2014 to discuss the lab and a workshop on learly language
development she was conducting for parents and their babies.
In May 2012, the lab was featured in Winnipeg CTV's monthly news segment