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Research Opportunities for UIUC Undergraduates

We always welcome applications for new undergraduate assistants in the Language Acquisition Lab for the Fall and Spring semesters and Summer Session II. Getting involved in research is great preparation for students interested in attending graduate school.

Sorry, at least for now we are no longer taking applications for Spring 2021. We plan to finish interviewing applicants right after Fall break, and then aim to have the Spring lab schedule set up by the end of the semester. I hope you'll apply for Summer Session II or for Fall 2021!

We do experiments on word learning and sentence processing in toddlers, preschoolers, and adults. Students can learn about and participate in many aspects of this research, including any of the following:

  • helping to design materials for experiments
  • testing toddlers, preschoolers, and adults in experiments
  • transcription and coding of children's speech
  • coding visual fixations from video recordings
  • learning to use an automatic eye-tracker

Everything is a little different in 2020, and that includes us. We have responded to covid-19 by moving much of our experimental work online! We will do this in two ways: by scheduled Zoom appointments with parents and children, and by using a platform that allows us to post our experiments online so people can participate anytime they like. (Look here for some examples!)

We seek responsible, highly motivated students with an interest in language and children to assist with these new online research projects. Previous experience with children and prior coursework in cognitive psychology, speech & hearing, or linguistics are very helpful. New students in the lab sign up for 3 credit hours of PSYC 290, and work 3 3-hour lab shifts; experienced students continuing in the lab may sign up for 2 credit hours, and work 2 3-hour shifts. Note that the weekly time commitments are different for the 8-week Summer Session II (see the application form linked below for more information).

If you are interested in language and in children, and have room in your schedule for a Psych 290, we hope you'll apply! Please fill out an application HERE. If you have questions about the application or our lab you can contact us at lalab@illinois.edu.