York BabyLab Studies

Baby with book
How do babies learn to talk?

In the York BabyLab we study many different aspects of this question. We want to know how much parents’ different ways of talking to their children help the children to learn. We are also interested in how babies’ own babbling, and later, their different ways of forming words affect the way they listen to speech and learn more words.

We study children who are slow to begin speaking, to try to explain why some children catch up quickly while others go on to have long-term language problems. And we are interested in how children remember language, and how this is affected by sleep, for example, as well as by what they already know and the words they are already using.

We use different methods to study these questions: In some cases we visit babies’ homes to record them, in others the family comes to the lab to perform different tasks. We are learning a lot from these activities – and we think the families enjoy them too, not least the babies, for whom everything is new!