Infants start using consonants preferentially over vowels in their quest for words at different ages depending on their native language, for French, Italian and Spanish infants, as soon as the end of the first year (see Bouchon et al., 2022 for a review). However, this mechanism of word processing has been less explored in preschoolers (Creel, 2019) and with mixed and unexpected findings with regards to infant data (Havy et al., 2011; Creel, 2022; Frye & Creel, 2022). Additionally, social contingency cues are crucial for language development (Roseberry et al., 2014). Book-related experiences are known to expose children to a rich, complex linguistically and socially contingent input that contributes to vocabulary development in particular (Tamis‐LeMonda et al., 2019; Flack et al., 2018).
This project aims at exploring the link between a mechanism of early lexical processing and vocabulary acquisition in preschoolers, by assessing preschooler's audio-visual speech processing (Altvater-Mackensen & Grossmann, 2015) and attentional processes involved during a relatively naturalistic communicative context: adult-child Shared Book Reading (SBR).
Using innovative methods, a series of experiments will assess children’s audiovisual speech processing, as well as their lexical learning outcomes, in controlled face-to-face interactive experiments. This will provide new insights on how both measures of processing and learning evolve throughout preschool, as language develops, and children are gradually exposed to formal literacy at school.
Under the supervision of C. Bouchon, the intern will take part in an international project involving a series of experiments assessing young children’s audiovisual speech processing, as well as their lexical learning outcomes, in controlled face-to-face interactive experiments.
The intern be given the opportunity to learn every step of carrying out experimental work with young children, in particular:
- acquiring theoretical expertise in the fields of developmental psycholinguistics, i.e. early language processing mechanisms in young children, the impact of social contingency on language development, early-education issues, in particular on how to promote vocabulary development, a crucial predictor of literacy.
- developing methodological skills, i.e., designing child-friendly paradigms; building linguistic stimuli; participant recruitment; collecting looking time data with eye-tracking glasses; data preprocessing and analyses; statistical analyzes and interpretation.
- collaborating with international researchers.
Outcome of the internship: Depending on the intern’s motivation and performance, their implication in the publication process of findings as well as pursuing as a PhD student will be discussed.
Bouchon, Hochmann & Toro, 2022. JECP, 221, 105444. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2022.105444
Havy et al., 2011. JECP, 108(1), 25‑43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2010.08.002;
Creel, 2019. In Psychol Learn Motiv (71, p. 67‑105). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.plm.2019.07.003
Creel, S. C. (2022). In J of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_JSLHR-22-00029
Frye, C. I., & Creel, S. C. (2022). Brain and Language, 226, 105078. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2022.105078
Roseberry et al., 2014. Child Dev, 85(3), 956‑970. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12166
Tamis‐LeMonda et al., 2019. Child Dev, 90(6), 2135‑2152. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13089
Flack et al., 2018. Dev Psychol, 54(7), 1334‑1346. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000512
Altvater-Mackensen & Grossmann, 2015. Child Development, 86(2), 362‑378. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12320