Communication Theme

How do children learn to use language structure to communicate effectively? 

Children playing with soil

Theme Lead: Prof Anna Theakston, University of Manchester

Children need to learn not only the sentence structures of their language, but also how to use them effectively.This theme explores how children learn different language structures, and how their use is affected by social understanding.

There are four research projects under this theme. To find out more about each project follow the relevant link below:

How do children’s linguistic and socio-cognitive skills interact with language input in learning modal and mental state terms?

The acquisition of tag questions

The comprehension and production of restrictive relative clauses

Acquiring complex sentences


Work under this theme will enable us to: 

  • Provide detailed information on how children learn form-function mappings to signal different communicative goals
  • Advise practitioners on the best contexts for learning complex social language.

Download our Communication Theme Flyer for more information.