Frequently Asked Questions

Learning to use language to communicate is hugely important for society. Failure to develop language and communication skills at the right age is a major predictor of educational and social inequality in later life.  Explanatory models of development are key to tackling the root cause of language and communication difficulties. If we understand how children learn language, we are better placed to influence the language development process.

To tackle this problem, we need to know the answers to a number of questions:

  • How do children learn language from what they see and hear?
  • What do measures of children's brain activity tell us about what they know?
  • How do differences between children and differences in their environments affect how children learn to talk?  

Answering these questions is a major challenge for researchers. LuCiD will bring together researchers from a wide range of different research backgrounds to address this challenge.

If you have registered to take part in a study with us and your child is the right age for one of our studies, we will give you a call, email or write you. We will describe our study, and if you are happy to take part in it, we will arrange a convenient time for your visit.

When you and your child arrive at one of our babylabs, a friendly researcher will welcome you and offer you a drink. We will explain the study to you again and will answer any questions you might have. We will also give you a consent form to sign, saying that you are happy for your baby to participate.

Once everyone is comfortable we will move to a nearby room to start the study. You will be with your child at all times. Normally, your child will sit on a chair or on your lap. After the study we will answer any questions you might have. Usually everybody has a fun time!

You can also bring along siblings, and one of our researchers will play with them while your baby is doing the study.

To carry out child language research we rely on the help of hundreds of parents and children who are on our volunteer list. If you have a child aged 0-5 years and are interested in taking part in one of our studies, then you can join our volunteer list. Our studies take place in Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester and you should register via the relevant link(s) below:

If you join the volunteer list you are not, at this stage, agreeing to take part in a study. You are simply agreeing to be contacted about future studies.

Our studies take place at our babylabs and child study centres at Lancaster University, the University of Liverpool and the University of ManchesterSome of our studies take place in people's homes and from time to time we also carry out studies in nurseries and schools.

Consent is obtained for all of our studies and they are approved by the ethics committees at the relevant University. Information about the children in our studies is confidential and all data is kept anonymous. Personal details will be kept securely and only for the purpose stated. Participants can ask for their details to be removed from our database at any time.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) provides advice on what to do if you think your child needs to see a speech and language therapist. Please see the RCSLT website for more information.

Alternatively, the I CAN Help service gives families the opportunity to speak to a speech and language therapist for free to discuss any concerns or questions they have regarding their child's communication skills.