UB Language Learning Lab

The UB Language Learning Lab is dedicated to research and instruction related to better understanding of language learning among school-age children from culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Our goal is to improve the identification and treatment of language disorders in order to improve outcomes for this critical population.

Director: Alison Hendricks, PhD

Cary Hall, Room 105

    Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) affects about two students in every classroom (7-9% of students) and yet many students are not getting the help they need to be successful. Students with DLD have difficulty in understanding and producing language, and DLD has lasting consequences. Students who have DLD have lower educational outcomes lower educational outcomes (Catts, Fey, Tomblin, & Zhang, 2002), are at higher risk for unemployment (Conti-Ramsden & Durkin, 2012), and are at higher risk for anxiety and depression (Conti-Ramsden & Botting, 2008). While DLD is often missed for students monolingual children who speak mainstream dialects, misdiagnoses, including both under-identification and over-identification are common among students from diverse backgrounds, including students who are bilingual or speak non-mainstream dialects of English.

    Our current research, which is funded by the American Speech Language Hearing Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, focuses on understanding the social and linguistic factors that influence the ways that school-age children with and without DLD use language. We use a range of methods including group screening measures, surveys, as well as language samples with children and their parents and experimental language production probes. Our most recent research uses eyetracking methodology to better understand how children with language disorder understand language.