When & how do we recruit new students?

We recruit new undergraduate assistants in the Language Acquisition Lab every year, separately for the Fall and Spring semesters and for Summer Session II. Getting involved in research is great preparation for students interested in attending graduate school.

The best time to apply for Summer and Fall is late March to early April (of the preceding semester), and the best time to apply for Spring is in mid-October to early November.

Update: Our lab schedule is now complete for Summer Session II and for Fall 2024! We hope you will check back with us again in a future semester.

What are the responsibilities & requirements?

We do experiments on word learning and sentence processing in toddlers, preschoolers, and adults. Students can learn about and participate in many aspects of this research, including any of the following:

  • helping to design materials for experiments
  • testing toddlers, preschoolers, and adults in experiments
  • transcribing and coding adults’ or children’s speech (recorded in some experiments)
  • coding visual fixations from video recordings
  • learning to use an automatic eye-tracker

We seek responsible, highly motivated students with an interest in language, learning, and children, to assist with both online (by scheduled Zoom appointments with participants) and in-lab research projects. Previous experience with children, and prior coursework in cognitive psychology, speech & hearing, or linguistics are very helpful. No prior research experience is required.

New students in the lab sign up for 3 credit hours of PSYC 290, and work 3 3-hour lab shifts; experienced students continuing in the lab may sign up for 2 credit hours, and work 2 3-hour shifts. Note that the weekly time commitments are different for the 8-week Summer Session II (see the application form linked below for more information).

How to apply?

If this sounds interesting to you, and you think you have room in your schedule for a Psych 290, we hope you’ll apply. Please fill out an application form here. If you have questions about the application or our lab, you can contact us at lalab@illinois.edu.