Child Language and Speech Studies Lab 

About Us

Long before children learn to tie their shoes or ride a bike, they master language. By the age of 2, children typically know hundreds of words, and are stringing together grammatically meaningful multi-word utterances. How do children master language so quickly and seemingly effortlessly, while adults often struggle for years to simply learn to order a meal in a new language? In Dr. Elizabeth Johnson’s Child Language and Speech Studies (CLASS) Lab at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), we examine the perceptual, cognitive, and social factors that contribute to children’s rapid mastery of human language. Our approach is inherently interdisciplinary, bringing together insights and methodologies from developmental psychology, various branches of linguistics, and the speech sciences. Importantly, much of our research is inspired by the linguistic diversity in the community surrounding UTM.

To learn more about specific projects in the CLASS lab, check out our Research and Media pages.
If you are a parent interested in having your child(ren) take part in our research, read more on our For Parents page.
If you are a student interested in joining our lab, learn more here.
Latest Lab News

Ever wondered when gender differences in speech start to develop? If so, listen to PhD student Priscilla Fung discuss her research on gendered speech on the Across Acoustics Podcast.

September 2022

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Welcome to our newest PhD student, Emily Shroads (left)! And a big congratulations to Jida Jaffan (right) who has been awarded the Ontario Graduate Scholarship to fund her research on children’s interactions with humans and robots!

September 2022

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Congratulations to the 8 of our undergraduate students who presented at the 2022 UTM Summer Undergraduate Research Fair! Click here to see them in action!

August 2022


Congratulations to PhD student Priscilla Fung for being awarded the Ontario Graduate Scholarship at the University of Toronto. We look forward to seeing the results of your thesis work on bilingual language development.

July 2022


Good luck to Professor Johnson in her new role as an Associate Editor for the journal Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics!

June 2022

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