Welcome to the Language and Learning Lab at University of Toronto!

How is children’s learning and thinking shaped by the ideas that they already hold, the language they hear, and the media they experience?

At the Language and Learning Lab, we ask these questions and many more about how young children learn and navigate the world around them! Our research explores the way that infants and children begin to:

  • Use knowledge learned through new media sources, like e-books
  • Use words and other symbols to communicate
  • Understand references to absent objects, people, and events
  • Update their knowledge from what others tell them
  • Learn new information from picture books
  • Understand the intentions of others during communication

Learn more about our research!

Join our research team!

Parents, if you are interested having your children participate in our studies, click here to learn more or call (416) 934-4559.

You can also email us at languageandlearninglab@gmail.com

If you are a current or prospective undergraduate or graduate student, click here to learn more or email Dr. Patricia Ganea at patricia.ganea@utoronto.ca.

Lab News

May 2017 – Congratulations to Hilary Sweatman and Jayun Bae. They each have received a
2017 U of T Excellence Award (UTEA) from the Vice-President of Research that funds them for 14 weeks of research.  We welcome Jayun to our lab and are so pleased to have Hilary continue with us!

March 2017 – Congratulations to our research assistants Nicole Larsen, Emilie MacDonald and Abbirame Indrakumar for getting admitted into their programs! Nicole will pursue a PhD in Development Psychology and Education and Emilie will pursue a Masters of Child Study and Education right here at OISE. Abbirame will pursue a second degree in Bachelors of Education at Queen’s University. Also, a hearty congratulations to our former lab member Karen Moreira who is currently pursuing a Masters in Physiotherapy at McMaster University!

September 2016 – Lab member Fareha Nishat has accepted a full-time position at Sick Kids Neuropsychiatric Research Unit as a Clinical Research Project Assistant. She will be working on neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and OCD, administering research tasks and liaising with participants. Congratulations Fareha!

August 2016 – Congratulations to our very own Krisma Saini and Emilie MacDonald on their August weddings!

July 2016 – Congratulations to former research assistant Tanrima Zaman, who has been admitted to the Masters of Public Health Program at Queen’s University!

May 2016 – Congratulations to former research assistant Vanessa Ferlaino, who has been admitted to the Masters of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology at University of Waterloo!

March 2016 – Congratulations to former research assistant Rafiya Asad, who has been admitted to the Masters of Social Work at the University of Toronto!

March 2016 – Many congratulations to research assistant Heidi Xin Yi Kuang, who was recently offered not one, but two Professional Experience Year Internships at Harvard! She has accepted one of them, and will be working with Dr Oren Levy on high impact and translational biomedical engineering research, more specifically on exploring and enhancing therapeutic properties of stem cells for one year from May 2016. Heidi started in our lab as a Research Opportunity Program student, stayed with us as a University of Toronto Excellence Award summer student, and then transitioned to work study. We will miss Heidi enormously and hope to see her again in a year’s time.

October 2015 – Professor Ganea and her graduate student, Caitlin Canfield, receive the Editor’s Choice Award for their recent publication in Journal of Cognition and Development, titled “You could call it magic’: What parents and siblings tell preschoolers about unobservable entities“.

June 2015 – Congratulations to Nicole Larsen, who just completed her M.A. in Child Study and Education here at OISE! She also won an award for the research she has been doing in our lab!

May 2015 – Congratulations to Dr. Gabrielle Strouse, postdoctoral fellow in our lab, who accepted a faculty position at the University of South Dakota. We wish her all the best. We know she will do great!

March 2015 – Congratulations Heidi Kuang!  Heidi Kuang has received a 2015 U of T Excellence Award (UTEA) from the Vice-President of Research that funds her for 14 weeks of summer research.  We are pleased to have her continue with us!

June 2014 – Professor Ganea and Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Gabrielle Strouse, receive SSRHC Insight Development Grant: An examination of the educational potential of interactive touch screen media for young children.

May 2014 – Professor Ganea wins highly competitive Early Research Award (ERA) from Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation. The funded program of research is entitled “From Child to Scientist”: Using symbolic media to promote science education in young children.