Dr. Van der Feest moves to The Graduate Center, CUNY – Dr. Singleton new head of the Child Language Lab

Beginning Fall 2018, Dr. Van der Feest has moved to The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She has joined the Linguistics M.A./Ph.D. program there and is now running the Developmental Speech Perception Lab. Contact her directly (svanderfeest at gc dot cuny dot edu) if you want to learn more about her current research or the GC-CUNY graduate programs in Linguistics or Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences.


Dr. Singleton is the new head of the Child Language Lab Austin – this page will soon transition to display information about her ongoing research at UT!

The End of The Academic Year…!

The end of the semester has arrived! It has been a very busy year in the lab, and many lab members are off to exciting summers (Grace Lundstrom and Nicole Parson will be studying abroad) – and many are off to the next phase in their lives! On the right, former lab member Chloe Gomez (who will be studying ASL next year) with Dr. Van der Feest and her parents at the Graduation Breakfast of the Linguistics department. Aaron Quach, Allison Thomas (headed to UT Dallas for a graduate program in SLP) and Brianna Cooley also graduated – congratulations to everyone, we cannot wait to see what y’all will do next!

(On the left, our end of the year coffee with those who stayed behind to test 3-year-old participants until many weeks past the semester’s official end ūüôā From left to right: Audrey Snow, Suzanne van der Feest, Grace Lundstrom, Jael Bootsma, Lauren Wagner and Nicole Parson).

Undergraduate Research Week 2018

In April the CLL presented at two events during Undergraduate Research Week 2018 – On Monday, we presented two posters at the Linguistics Department Research Ice Cream Social (Above left: Audrey Snow, Grace Lundstrom (Lauren Wagner not pictured) and Alison van Alen presenting a poster on the Effects of Speaking Style and Semantic Context on Online Word Recognition in Children; Above right top: Aaron Quach presenting the same poster, and Above right bottom: Nicole practicing the CBiLLT presentation – see below for more information – for the lab members).


At the university-wide Longhorn Research Bazar that same week, Lindsay Palmer and Nicole Parson presented a project with visiting researcher Jael Bootsma from the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Jael (on the far right in the picture above) is working on a pilot study translating a test that measures language comprehension in non-verbal children with low motor skills (the C-BiLLT). This clinical test is already in use in the Netherlands with children with Cerebral Palsy. It is a ground breaking test for this group of children, who may have extreme difficulties communicating but may have much higher cognitive skills than they can show. The CLL students are assisting with the translations of words and pictures, and with piloting the English version by testing typically developing English-speaking children between the ages of 1 and 7 years in Austin. (From left to right: Suzanne van der Feest, Lindsay Palmer, Nicole Parson and Jael Bootsma).

End of the Year


After a great semester, the Child Language Lab members met for a final coffee of 2017 to celebrate Rui Akaike’s completion of her Honor’s Thesis – and to take the best holiday lab picture yet! Congratulations Rui, we cannot wait to see what will be next for you!

Happy holidays to everyone, and we are all excited to have many small and large research participants in the lab for studies this coming Spring!

Speech production study to be published in Journal of Child Language

A project of many years, entitled “Speech sound characteristics of early words: influence of phonological factors across vocabulary development” was accepted this week for publication in Journal of Child Language!

This project is a collaboration with Dr. Barbara Davis, emeritus professor in the department of Communications Sciences and Disorders, and PhD candidate Hoyoung Yi. Many Child Language Lab research assistants helped with this project, which analyzes many hours of spontaneous speech from children aged 6 months to 3 years! The study investigates whether children choose to say words based on the sounds they can already produce (so as a very basic example, when a child is good at saying “p” sounds, does this child say more words with “p”s compared to words that contain sounds (s)he may not be able to say very well yet?). You can find the paper under¬†Publications.

Undergraduate Research Week!

The Child Language Lab was well-represented at the 2017 Longhorn Bazaar, part of the activities during Undergraduate Research Week. Rui Akaike presented her honor’s thesis project, on word learning and language mode in monolinguals and bilinguals. Arielle Tamez, Brianna Cooley, Laura Nagy, Audrey Snow, Allison Thomas and Chlo√© Gomez presented new¬†data from our¬†larger project on the influence of speaking styles and semantic context on word recognition. (A collaboration with the UT SoundLab). They got to share the experience of coding eyetracking data from very distracted 11 and 12 year olds with their audience:)¬†All of our young scientists did a fantastic job!

And less than a week later, the Child Language Lab was represented by Audrey Snow and Chloé Gomez at the UT Linguistics Department Undergraduate Research Day!

SRCD 2017 in Austin

This year, the biennial Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) conference was in Austin, Texas! It was great to see so many colleagues from all over the world flocking the downtown conference center. Former lab member Dr. Cindy Blanco (now a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University) flew in from Chicago. Bright and early on Friday morning April 7th, Dr. Blanco & Dr. van der Feest – with the help of undergraduate assistant Laura Nagy – presented a poster “Effects of Listener-Oriented Speaking Styles and Semantic Context on Young Children’s Online Word Recognition”. The larger¬†project that the study¬†on this¬†poster is part of,¬†is a collaboration with¬†Dr. Smiljanic of the UT Soundlab. For¬†Laura, a double major in Linguistics and Communication Sciences and Disorders, SRCD was her first international conference!

Rui Akaike receives Kuhl Intellectual Entrepreneurship Award!

Rui was among the Spring 2017 recipients of the highly competitive Kuhn Intellectual Entrepreneurship Award! Rui is pursuing degrees in Linguistics and Communication Sciences & Disorders with a minor in French, and has been part of the lab since several years, working with Dr. Bannard, Dr. Blanco, and most recently with Dr. van der Feest. She is currently setting up her own experiment comparing word learning in bilinguals versus monolinguals for her Honors thesis. Congratulations Rui!