How to Participate in Research

What we study and how we do it

Our projects use game-like activities and structured observations to investigate the developmental connections between language, memory, attention, and thinking.

For example, in one recent project we are asking preschoolers to figure out how two toys are the same (colour, size) and to explain their ideas to a puppet. Some children do this easily, but others have trouble combining the thinking and the talking tasks.

Other current projects focus on:

  • The relationship between children’s language and the problem solving strategies that they use
  • How children learn to use language to talk about their experiences and tell stories
  • The importance of language for problem solving and reasoning

What is involved

We usually ask children to join us in the following types of activities:

  • Language activities: including listening to and inventing stories, producing sentences with specific words, watching short videos and describing the action, and identifying pictures corresponding to vocabulary words
  • Memory games: using words or pictures
  • Problem-solving activities: including discovering a problem solution or finding better ways to perform a task.

Children seem to enjoy our activities and find them interesting. Each project requires one to three visits, each lasting 30 – 45 minutes. Children are seen either at school, daycare, or preschool, in their homes, or at UBC depending on the project and the parent’s wishes.

For some projects, audiotaping or videotaping of activities may be required. We will always inform you of this prior to the project.

We never use children’s names or any identifying information in publications or reports resulting from our research.

Who can participate

Most of our research projects involve English speaking preschoolers and school-aged children with and without a history of developmental speech and language difficulties. In some cases, bilingual children may also be recruited to participate.

Our projects involve children of different ages and backgrounds, including:

  • Typically-developing children
  • Children with delayed language development
  • Children with reading and learning difficulties
  • Children with a history of speech and language problems

Contact us

We are always looking for participants!  Please contact us to learn more and to add your name to our registry.

When a project comes up that might be appropriate for your child, we will contact you with the details. You can decide at that time whether or not you would like your child to participate in the specific project.

You may contact us via email or by leaving a message on our voicemail. We will to get back to you within a few days.


Phone: (604) 822-0659

We look forward to hearing from you, and we thank all the children and parents who have participated in our research projects!