Adapting language development research paradigms to online testing: Data from preferential looking, word learning and vocabulary assessment in toddlers

Delphine K-L. Nguyen, Nadine Fitzpatrick, Caroline Floccia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the recent pandemic, it became necessary to adapt lab-based studies to online experiments. To investigate the impact of online testing on the quality of data, we focus on three paradigms widely used in infant research: a word recognition task using the Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm, a word learning task using the Switch task, and a language assessment tool (WinG) where children identify a target word amongst a set of picture cards. Our results for synchronous and asynchronous studies provide support for the robustness of online testing. In Experiment 1, robust word recognition was found in 24-month-old toddlers. In Experiment 2, 17-month-old infants consistently learned a new word. Finally, Experiment 3 demonstrated that 19- to 26-month-old children performed well on a language assessment test administered online. Overall, effect sizes or language scores were found to be higher than in lab-based studies. These experiments point to promising possibilities for reaching out to families around the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Child Language
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes

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