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?

You can participate if:

  • you live in the Netherlands
  • you have a child between 3 and 9 years old
  • more than 1 language is spoken to your child at home (it does not matter which languages)
  • your child lives with you every day of the week
  • you have an Android phone

Over the course of  a week, you will fill in a short questionnaire multiple times via an app on your mobile phone. A test-assistant will also visit your home to play some language games with your child. Afterwards, you will receive information on the use of different languages in your family and a €15 gift card.

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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.

Your child can participate if:

  • you live in the North Holland region;
  • your child is 5, 6, 7, or 8 years old;
  • your child speaks more than one language (including Dutch);
  • your child does not have hearing or vision problems.

Your child will do four short tasks that resemble games. The first task is an eye-tracking task where we measure children’s eye movements while they view different pictures and short videos on a laptop. In the second task, children must respond to stories. The third and fourth tasks measure how many Dutch words your child knows. The tasks together take about 30 minutes. We will also ask you to fill out a questionnaire about the languages spoken at home.

We are also looking for adults in these regions who speak Dutch as a second language at an A1 to B2 level. If you are an adult who is learning Dutch and would like to participate, please 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.

Your child can participate if:

  • you live in the Netherlands
  • they are 4, 5, or 6 years old
  • they speak more than one language (it does not matter how many languages are spoken at home or which languages)
  • you and your child are able to travel to a university building in the center of Amsterdam

Your child will complete two game-like tasks. In the first task, your child will wear glasses that allow us to see what they are looking at. The second task measures how many Dutch words your child knows. All in all this takes about 25-30 minutes. We will also ask you to fill in a questionnaire about the languages spoken at home.

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!