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The Language Learning Lab is a developmental research laboratory in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University, directed by Dr. Anne Fernald.

Our research focuses on the origins of communication and language in infancy and early childhood. Using the "looking-while-listening" procedure, we are discovering how young children develop competence in understanding spoken language during their first years of life. Our studies involve children who are learning English or Spanish as a first language, as well as children learning both English and Spanish at the same time. Our recent work explores how caregivers can support language learning through positive interactions with their young children. We also are working with children learning American Sign Language (ASL) and children born preterm.

Language Learning Lab in the News!

Parents can help toddlers with slow language skills catch up, Stanford psychologist says - Stanford Report, November 5, 2014

Bridging the Word Gap - Administration for Children and Families, October 14, 2014

Developmental Psychology’s Weird Problem - Slate, June 25, 2014

In the beginning was the word - The Economist, February 22, 2014

ScienceShot: Why You Should Talk to Your Baby - Science, February 14, 2014

Talking to babies boosts their brain power, studies show - The Guardian, February 14, 2014

Stanford psychologist shows why talking to kids really matters - Stanford Report, February 13, 2014

Our economic future depends on early investments in kids - San Francisco Chronicle, January 31, 2014

California should give all kids the pre-K advantage - Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2014

Do We Invest in Preschools or Prisons? - The New York Times Sunday Review (OpEd), October 26, 2013

Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K - The New York Times, October 21, 2013

Talking directly to toddlers strengthens their language skills, Stanford research shows - Stanford Report, October 15, 2013

Language gap between rich and poor children begins in infancy, Stanford psychologists find - Stanford Report, September 25, 2013