Barnet children needed for new language development research

Times Series: Lili playing with a tambourine. Lili playing with a tambourine.

Parents can enrol their children in a new psychology project which could help researchers learn more about the role music plays in language development.

Researchers at Middlesex University in Hendon want children between the ages of three and 14 months to take part in a short exercise involving simple tasks such as listening to music or watching a short video, and having their responses recorded.

Researchers would also like to work with children between the ages of three and 12 years who have autism spectrum disorder or a learning disability.

The exercises take 30 minutes and will allow experts to help devise new methods to support language development in the future.

Middlesex University child psychologist Dr Fabia Franco said: “Babies enjoy music and in cultures around the world we sing lullabies and play-songs. 

“It has been suggested that musical interactions may assist with language development, and parents often report that children with learning disabilities have been particularly interested in music and in many cases are more interested in singing rather than speech. 

“We need to set up systematic studies to analyse the role songs can play and hopefully help us find new learning aids also for children with difficulties in learning language.” 

To get involved contact Tatiana Sobolewska on ts511@live.mdx.ac.uk

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