Margo Katherine Wilke Undergraduate Research Internship

"Multi-lingual Acquisition by children"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Spring 2012 - MKWURI
Research area(s):
Linguistics, Bilingualism, Syntax
Project Description:
Ever wonder how children seem to learn languages fast and easy? This project is about that. This research embeds itself within the activities of the Indigenous and Endangered Languages Lab (IELLab). We collect spontaneous speech production of children with multiple languages. The child is video-recorded interacting with an adult (or other children) in the language they usually share. Then we transfer the recording to a computer and transcribe the data. We then code the productions for linguistic properties. We follow the children's production to see how they acquire their grammar(s). We look specifically at their 'errors' and use them to follow their progress in shaping the grammar of their language(s). This semester we will focus on Spanish-English, Korean-English and Mandarin Chinese-English bilingual children. If a student has interest in another language pair beyond these, that possibillty may also be considered.
Expected Student Contributions:
Student will interact with other members of the IELLab and will transcribe the video-recordings using a special software (ELAN). Student will receive training for the tasks involved. Student will participate in the relevant IELLab meetings and will write a report at the end of the semester about the experience. The student will also be encouraged to identify a linguistic topic in the data transcribed to further work on it. Language pairs recorded up to now: Spanish-English and Korean-English; Mandarin-Chinese will also be collected. Student may choose the language they want to work on. Students may sign up for 6 to 12 hours and will receive credit commensurate with those hours. 9 hours are established below as a guideline.
Related Website(s): (may be undergoing updating)
Desired Qualifications:
Preferred (though not absolutely required --equivalent skills will be considered): - LING 201, 311, 321 (or equivalent). - Native or near-native knowledge of English, Spanish, Mandarin or Korean. - intellectual curiosity. - love of challenge... and the creativity to deal with it. Appropriate Human Subjects training (CITI) will need to be completed before beginning of activities.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Benedicto, Elena
english / linguistics

Student Supervisor

Elena Benedicto
Associate Professor