New parents wanted for study into how children learn to talk

Researchers at the University of Liverpool are looking for parents of young babies to get involved in a study that aims to understand how babies learn to talk.

The Language 0-5 Project will follow 80 children from the age of six months old until they start school to build a complete picture of how a child’s language develops.

Child Psychologist, Professor Caroline Rowland, from the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, who is leading the project, said: “We are looking for parents of babies who are six months old, or younger, to take part in this unique research project.

This is the first study of its kind to monitor how speech develops from the point when a baby starts babbling at about six months old all the way through until they are four years old and ready to start school.

“Babies learn such a lot in the first years of life; they learn hundreds of speech sounds, thousands of words and dozens of different grammatical rules.  The findings of this project will improve our understanding of the way that babies and children learn to communicate using language.

It will enable us to build a complete picture of language development from the very beginning through to school readiness.

“Ultimately, in the longer term, we will use the information we get to help health visitors and teachers design better interventions for children with language problems.”

The project is part of the £9.3million ESRC Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD) which includes the Universities of Manchester and Lancaster.

LuCiD is investigating how children learn to talk, why some children develop language problems, and why differences between children and differences in their homes and community environments has an effect on how they learn to talk.

Parents in Merseyside or Cheshire who have a baby six months old or younger, or who are due to have a baby in the next few months, and wish to take part in the study should contact the research team on or on 0151 794 1109.


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