M1 or M2

LaPsyDÉ - Laboratoire de Psychologie du Développement et de l’Éducation de l'enfant


La Sorbonne (4th Floor)
46 rue des Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris

Language and its acquisition
Language & communication
Length of internship
to be determined with the applicant
French and/or English
Reading research establishes that 4-to-5-year-old’s speech perception abilities (i.e., phonemic awareness) predict reading readiness and the ability to read individual words. Moreover, teaching methods that promote phonemic awareness and an understanding between letters and phonemes (e.g., Phonics) are effective at improving word reading and remediating word-reading deficits. Notably however, fluid understanding of connected text often emerges later, around 7-9 years of age, the same age at which children become able to parse and interpret sentence ambiguities in spoken language in an adult like manner. In this project we will ask how well does a child’s ability to understand and analyze spoken sentences relate to their ability to read sentences and other forms of connected text? By identifying what explains the differences between children in how well they comprehend speech, can we develop ways to improve their ability to read? Reading and spoken sentence processing research has established correlational connections between cognitive control abilities, ambiguity processing abilities in speech, and reading/literacy. However, no existing research examines children’s real-time ability to deal with ambiguity in both listening and reading within the same children, assessing also cognitive control skills. In this project, we aim to relate children’s processing of spoken sentences to their ability to read connected text (by recording eye movements) and their ability to control their thoughts in non-linguistic tasks. Our goal will be to identify commonalities and differences in processing abilities in speech and text, within the same child, and identify cognitive control abilities that support speech and text comprehension. The questions investigated here take on significant educational importance by identifying what explains child literacy attainment, a primary skill that predicts educational and work success in the 21st century.