From oral language to literacy: Beyond 0-5

This research stream will build on LuCiD's 0-5 project - a study of 80 children's language learning across the first 5 years - by a) using the 0-5 data to understand how children's curiosity-based exploration shapes their word learning; b) using the 0-5 data to build individualized computer models of how particular children perform across different experiments and across development; and c) following the 0-5 children into school and determining how their preschool language abilities impact on the beginnings of their literacy development.

At the heart of the first phase of LuCiD was a detailed cohort study of 80 children between the ages of 0 and 5 years, which allowed us to investigate the impact of variation in a range of predictors, including frequency and lexical diversity in the child’s input and speed and accuracy of linguistic processing, on a substantial range of language outcome variables over the child’s first five years (e.g. Jones & Rowland, 2017; Peter et al, 2019.). This stream will capitalise and build on the rich set of measures collected within this study to a) extend the ground-breaking models of curiosity-based learning developed in the first phase of LuCiD to the study of individual differences in early vocabulary development, b) use the constraints inherent in the 0-5 dataset to build individualised models that can explain the behaviour of particular children across a range of different language-related tasks, and c) develop empirically-grounded models of the transition from oral language to literacy by following the 0-5 children into the first stages of formal schooling.

There are three projects under this stream:

  • Curiosity-based learning and later language outcomes 

  • Building individualised models of language development

  • Language 0-6: The transition to literacy 


Jones, G. & Rowland, C.(2017). Diversity not quantity in caregiver speech: using computational modeling to isolate the effects of the quantity and diversity of the input on vocabulary growth. Cognitive Psychology, 98, 1-21.

Peter, M. S., Durrant, S., Jessop, A., Bidgood, A., Pine, J. M. & Rowland, C. F. (2019). Does speed of processing or vocabulary size predict later language growth in toddlers? Cognitive Psychology