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. For other studies, we may do a
comprehensive assessment of the languages your child hears, which takes about
Please contact us to learn more. We hope to see
2020: This year we celebrate a number of accomplishments from our students:
Karmen McDivitt on receiving a placement with the University of Manitoba Clinical Internship, and Megan Gornik on her acceptance to University of Manitoba's Clinical Psycholoby Masters program.
Karmen McDivitt on successfully defending her PhD dissertation
proposal, and Brenna Henrikson on completing her Masters degree.
Older News in the Lab:
Kelsey Klassen, Mercedes Casar and Roman Belenya on earning their
Linguistics/Psychology Undergraduate spring 2018.
Kelsey Klassen, Mercedes Casar, Roman Belenya and Kaitlyn Dyer on their
acceptance to Masters Programs fall 2018.
Kathryn Rollins and Kaitlyn Dyer on receiving the Undergraduate Research
Karmen McDivitt on receiving the JG Fletcher Award, University of Manitoba
Emerging Leader Award, and the Canadian Psychological Association
Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Master's Thesis.
In 2017 we were delighted to announce that the Baby Language Lab, together with a number of collaborators, had 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.
Baby Language Lab in the News
A segment on Megan Gornik's honours thesis project aired on CTV news in December 2019. Her project investigated the development of social reasoning in infants under 10 months old.
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