One more push on our internet survey on book reading – and some news (hint: it’s about data sharing)

I’m going to try one more big push for responses to our study on children’s bookreading. For those of you who don’t know (or have forgotten), I’m conducting a study in collaboration with Lisa Matthewson on aspects of children’s books. But before we can examine the books, we want to know which books children are being read most often. It turns out that although there is a large literature on book reading, mostly focused on what kinds of books or book reading practices seem to be related to various aspects of development (often linguistic but not always), most analyses either don’t rest on the specifics of the books or the analyzed books are chosen based on things like sales records. And much of the literature focuses on children who are older than the age we are most interested in. For all of these reasons, we decided to start by collecting information on the books children aged 0-36 months are being read most often. We are doing this via an internet survey that asks parents and caregivers some questions about the books they are reading most often to their children (in English). We have about 700 responses so far, but would like to get it to over 1000 if we can.

If you can help us get this survey out to more people, by posting it on your facebook page, tweeting a link, etc., we’d really appreciate your help. And in some exciting news, we just got permission to share the eventual data set (which does not include any identifying information about participants, so respondents don’t need to worry about anyone knowing who they are). If you are someone who is interested in children’s books, just think about how more data will be better for you too! So if you know parents of children aged 0-36 months who read books in English to their children, or have a way to get this survey out to some, any and all help is appreciated. There are no restrictions on country, monolingual vs. multilingual, or anything like that. Here’s a link to the invitation page.

Thanks for any and all help getting this out one last time.

Parents of children aged 0-36 months needed for internet survey on children’s books in English

The Language and Learning Lab at the University of British Columbia is looking for parents of children aged 0-36 months of age to participate in an internet survey regarding book reading. The survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes. If you are interested in participating, please click here.

(Feel free to pass this message along to parent friends.)

“Children’s Use of Gesture in Ambiguous Pronoun Interpretation” – New (OA) paper out in Journal of Child Language

I’m happy to announce a new paper “Children’s Use of Gesture in Ambiguous Pronoun Interpretation” just out in the Journal of Child Language by Whitney Goodrich Smith and Carla Hudson Kam. FYI: It’s published as an open access paper.

Here’s the abstract:

“This study explores whether children can use gesture to inform their interpretation of ambiguous pronouns. Specifically, we ask whether four- to eight-year-old English-speaking children are sensitive to information contained in co-referential localizing gestures in video narrations. The data show that the older (7–8 years of age) but not younger (4–5 years) children integrate co-referential gestures into their interpretation of pronouns. This is the same age at which they show sensitivity to order-of-mention, the only other cue available in the stimuli. Interestingly, when children show sensitivity to the gestures, they are quite similar to adults, in that gestures consistent with order-of-mention increase first-mentioned responses as compared to stimuli with no gestures, but only slightly, while gestures inconsistent with order-of-mention have a larger effect on interpretation, decreasing first-mentioned responses and increasing second-mentioned responses.”