Colloquium Event Series 2019-2020: Eliana Colunga (University of Colorado – Boulder)
October 24 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Join us October 24th, 2019 in Room 107 to hear Eliana Colunga from University of Colorado – Boulder speak for the Colloquium Series.
Title: Using computational models to understand, predict, and nudge word learning trajectories.
Abstract: One of the big accomplishments of children in their first years of life is learning the
language or languages of their environment. Legend has it that toddlers can do
this task masterfully and effortlessly, though it is acknowledged that this is not the
case for all children. In this talk, I will present work using computational models to
understand, predict, and intervene in early word learning. The idea is that
language is a highly structured system of similarities and relationships, and that
children become more and more skilled learners by exploiting the regularities in
this structure. If this is the case, we may be able to nudge developmental
trajectories by shifting the structure present in a child’s language environment. I
will discuss computational models that can be used to characterize and predict
the early vocabulary trajectories of children with different language abilities,
present evidence suggesting that it is indeed possible to make model-based
target word selections that will have a greater impact on subsequent vocabulary
growth, and discuss different ways of delivering this environmental “nudge”.