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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
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Want to join the CLASS lab as a postdoctoral fellow? The CLASS Lab is currently hiring! For more information on the postdoctoral position click here.

March 2023


Have you ever faced bias based on your accent? Tune in to this episode on CBC Listen to learn about Dr. Elizabeth Johnson's research on accent bias in young children and how accents are portrayed in the media they watch.

December 2022


Congratulations to post doc Thomas St. Pierre and SSHRC-UTEA recipient Kaitlyn Harris on their talk presented at the Psychonomic Society Meeting in Boston! And congratulations to Thomas on his recent paper published in Cognitive Development!

November 2022


Congratulations to postdoc Dr. Thomas St. Pierre on accepting a professorship at Utrecht University! We wish him luck as he starts this new chapter of his life and can’t wait to see all the great work he will do in his new position!

October 2022


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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