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Welcome to the Baby Language Lab

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 capabilities
  • 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 you soon!

Lab News

We are delighted to announce that the Baby Language Lab, together with a number of collaborators, has been awarded the prestigious Digging Into Data grant from the Trans-Atlantic Platform. This project (ACLEW) involves 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 school.
  • 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 Alberta.
  • June 2017: Congratulations to Kelsey Dyck for her summer undergraduate research award (URA) and Sarah MacEwan for her summer intership award from CHRIM.
  • 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

Lab People What to expect Links of Interest
Research Directions to Lab