Both multilingual and monolingual families with children between 2 and 10 years old can participate in our research. Below we tell you more about our ongoing studies and who can participate in each study. If you are not currently eligible for any of these studies, but would like to be contacted for future research your child could participate in, please sign up here!

Ongoing Research

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Study 1: Language use in multilingual families

Parental questionnaires are often used in research on multilingual children. In these questionnaires, parents/guardians fill in which languages they speak to their child and how often. In this study, we are looking at whether these questionnaires are suitable. Do they provide reliable data?

We currently have enough participants and are working on the analyses. If you are curious about the results, follow updates on this study by subscribing to our newsletter! You can also sign up your child for future studies that your child could participate in.

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Study 2: Do gestures help with comprehending language?

We are investigating to what extent children use non-verbal signals from their conversation partner to understand them. Think, for example, of the gestures someone makes or what someone is looking at. If someone’s gestures do not align well with what they are saying, how is the speaker’s message interpreted by children? It may be that multilingual children and monolingual children differ in this regard. Multilingual children may pay more attention to non-verbal cues than monolingual children. Given that the vocabulary of multilingual children in each language is often slightly smaller than that of their monolingual peers, the use of these cues could help multilingual children to still understand others just as well. We want to investigate how gestures influence language comprehension in multilingual and monolingual children.

We currently have enough children, but we are also looking for adults in North Holland who speak Dutch as a second language at A1 to B2 level. For this, you will do four short tasks: The first task is an eye-tracking task in which we measure children’s eye movements while they watch various pictures and short videos on a laptop. The second task requires you to respond to stories. The third and fourth tasks measure how many Dutch words you know. Together, the tasks take about 45 minutes. We also ask you to fill in a questionnaire about the languages you speak.

Are you learning Dutch and interested in participating? Then you can register here.

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Study 3: Do you get what I mean?

We explore whether children take other people into account during a conversation. If you talk to someone about Lisa without them seeing Lisa or knowing who Lisa is, the other person does not understand you. Are multilingual children more considerate of a conversation partner than monolingual children? Perhaps! This may be because multilingual children learn early on that other people do not understand everything: if you just speak Turkish to someone who only understands Dutch, that person will not understand you. In this study, we want to investigate this idea further.

We currently have enough participants. If you want to receive updates on this study, subscribe to our newsletter! You can also sign up your child for future studies that your child could participate in.

Future Research

Are you not eligible for any of the current studies but would still like to register your multilingual child for our study? Click the button, we will contact you as soon as there is a study running that is of interest to you!