Your child is invited to participate in research at the Child Language Lab and contribute to our understanding of children's language development. Please see below a list of our current studies. Contact the listed researcher for each study to sign up or to find out more.

If your child is not eligible to participate in any of our current studies, please consider signing up to our participant register, so that you can be contacted by researchers to participate in future studies as they become available.

Studies currently recruiting

'Heart' not 'Hut': Learning words that sound similar

Age range: 23-24-month-olds who have parents born in Australia and who speak English at home

This study will help us understand when children develop fine-grained knowledge about English words and sounds categories. The findings will help inform our understanding about atypical language development delay.

To register your interest or for more information, please contact Dr Nan Xu Rattanasone

Understanding words like 'and'

Age range: 4- and 5-year-olds who speak English at home

This study investigates how young children understand and produce complex sentences. We are interested in the underlying structure of various types of sentences that contain the word and. We can conjoin complete sentences as in somebody ate rice and somebody ate beans, or smaller phrases as in somebody ate rice and beans, but they mean different things for adults. We are interested in finding out whether or not children and adults understand sentences of this kind in the same way or not.

To register your interest or for more information, please contact Andy Morrison

Understanding sentences with multiple logical expressions

Age range: 4 - 6-year-olds who speak English at home 

We are interested in how children understand sentences that contain words known as logical expressions. These logical expressions are words like or, not, and every. We are interested in finding out how English-speaking children understand complex sentences with all three logical expressions together in one sentence, such as Not every student will choose an apple or a banana. We are also interested in finding out whether children have the same interpretation of these complex sentences as adults.

To register your interest or for more information, please contact Zhu Xie

You can also contact us ( if you have any questions or would like to know more about our current studies.

For face-to-face studies, the Child Language Lab has protocols in line with Macquarie University's COVIDSafe plan. If you would like to participate in face-to-face studies, we will contact you to provide more details. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more details or have any questions.

Some reasons to participate

  • Participation can be a fun activity for school holidays!
  • Have fun! Kids have a great time and often want to come back for other studies or to do other studies online.
  • Help advance research in the critical area of child language development
  • Assist with research that will provide better outcomes for children's communication skills (e.g., for children with hearing loss)
  • Be reimbursed for your time (usually a gift card and small gift for your child)

Hear from a parent

A headshot of one of the participants

"I'm glad that I am able to help researchers advance their studies. I've learnt about different aspects of child language development and now notice little things about the language development of my children."

"Most of all, they enjoy all the activities every time they are here. They have fun watching interesting videos and playing with toys. I plan it like a day out. We'll go somewhere after the session and I will buy them a special gift with the gift card."

- Rhonda P from Sydney

Content owner: Department of Linguistics Last updated: 02 Aug 2022 11:44pm

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