Language Acquisition

Macquarie University’s Language Acquisition research seeks to better understand the nature of language acquisition in typically developing children and the causes of children’s difficulties in learning language with an aim towards improving services for children with language disorders.

Our Language Acquisition researchers are primarily associated with the Language Acquisition Lab and the Child Language Lab and based in the Departments of Linguistics and Cognitive Science.

Our Language Acquisition researchers have close links with the Centre for Language Sciences, as well as the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD), and in particular, the CCD’s Language Program.

To investigate children’s linguistic knowledge, our researchers employ different kinds of experimental techniques but the experiments are always embedded in games that are fun for children. We use a variety of behavioural methods in our research: we may show the child participants some pictures, or tell the child stories that are acted out with toys and small props, or we may involve the child in an activity. We have found that children really enjoy these games and often ask for another turn.