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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to come to Hunter College in order to participate?
No. In our experience, children tend to be more focused when they come to the lab, but we are happy to come to your home or any other location of your choosing.  We are also observing children remotely.

2. I work full time; will my schedule allow for participation?
Yes. The Language Acquisition Research Center team is available daytime, evenings, and weekends for your convenience. We will work around your schedule.

3. Can I be with my child during the session?
Yes. Our number one goal is for your child to feel comfortable and happy. You are welcome to be present with your child during the session.  For remote sessions, it is necessary to have an adult present.

4. Will we be reimbursed for expenses?
Unfortunately, no. We cannot reimburse you for participation in this project. However, we do hope you will find it interesting and decide to participate.

5. What do you do with the data you collect?
We publish our results in scientific journals. In our articles, we present data by group. No child is referred to by name or by any other identifying characteristic.  We also present our results at scientific conferences.  Again, no child is referred to by name or any other identifying characteristic.

6. Is there a consent form to sign so I know my child is being protected?
Yes. All our projects have been approved by the Hunter College Institutional Review Board. We have a consent form that both you and the experimenter sign before the session begins. The consent form describes what will happen during the session, as well as your rights as the parent of a participant.

7. Are my child’s answers confidential?
Yes. We are interested in children as a group.  We may occasionally include a specific utterance from a child in a publication (e.g., “Want lollikpop”), but we do not identify the child in any way.

8. My child is bilingual. Can they still participate?
Not at the present time. Although we are interested in children with a variety of language backgrounds, we are currently concentrating on monolingual English-learning children.

9.  My child is a precocious speaker.  Can they still participate?
Yes.  We are interested in very fast learners.

10. My child has a caretaker who speaks a language other than English. Can they still participate?
Most likely. However, this decision is made on a case by case basis and depends on the study and the number of hours your child is exposed to the other language.

11. I think my child’s language development may be delayed. Can you do a language assessment?
Unfortunately, no. However, we can provide referrals to language specialists.

11. Can you tell me if my child is developing normally?
Unfortunately, no. We do not do language assessments. We do basic research which looks at children with a wide variety of language backgrounds in order to look at language development in children as a group.

12. Is this research aimed at helping children with language disorders?
Not directly. Our studies are basic research in cognitive psychology; we are interested in what child language development can tell us about the mind. Our hope, however, is that everything we discover about child language development can be used to enrich understanding of language disorders as well.

13. My child has a language delay. Can we still participate?
Currently, in order to get our baseline data, we are not observing children with language problems.

14. Can I see the results?
This is a long-term study. At this point in time, we cannot say when it will be complete. We can keep your contact info and forward you a synopsis of the results when we have finished.

15. My child has already participated in one of your studies. Can we participate in another?
Yes! If your child has participated in a study for two-year-olds and is now old enough for another study, we would be happy to have you back!