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MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Freed
561-297-3022, lfreed@fau.edu

FAU Language Development Laboratory Conducting Linguistic Study on Children

            DAVIE, FL (June 26, 2007) – Researchers in the language development laboratory at Florida Atlantic University’s Davie campus are currently conducting a new study focusing on the process of early word learning in monolingual and bilingual children.          

With a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Erika Hoff, PhD., director of the laboratory and a professor of psychology in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, is exploring how children’s early mastery of the sounds of their language is related to their vocabulary development.

            “Even before children learn words, they are learning sound patterns that help them when they are exposed to new words,” said Hoff. “The goal of the research is to understand this better.”

To help with this study, Hoff is looking for families who speak English or English and Spanish at home, and have a child who will be 22 months old within the next six months. The research consists of a short game that researchers will play with each child and a parent interview.   The research may be conducted at either the laboratory on FAU’s Davie campus, 2912 College Ave., or at the parents’ home.    

“The study of bilingual children is important because so many children are acquiring two languages and also because bilingual children provide a unique opportunity to study the young mind at work,” said Hoff. “Most bilingual children hear one language more than they hear the other, which allows researchers to pull apart the effects of children’s experience from the effects of maturation on the course of language development.”

For more information or to participate in the study, contact Dr. Erika Hoff at 954-236-1142 or ehoff@fau.edu, or visit psy.fau.edu/~hoff/LangDevLab/index.htm.   

-FAU-

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