Child Language Centre | Te Reo o te Tamaiti
The KidsWords project: the early language development of New Zealand children
One of the aims of the KidsWords project was to establish normative data on the early vocabulary and grammatical development of children growing up in New Zealand. Our initial goal was to collect data on a representative sample of 3,000 children in the 16- through 30-month age range, consisting of 100 boys and 100 girls at each month of age, that reflected the distribution of children in the population with respect to sex, geographical region and maternal education level.
With the generous help of the Plunket Society and many others, we asked parents from every region of the country to go to the project’s website at www.kidswords.org and complete two questionnaires: a New Zealand adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory: Words & Sentences and a demographic questionnaire.
Data collection began in October 2012 and ended in October 2015. A total of 2,615 parents from every region of the country participated—87% of the initial target. Many parents came back to the website more than once, allowing us to examine the data both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Some of the project’s findings have been presented at national and international research conferences and we are now writing up the results for publication. We will put links to the publications on this page when they become available.
The data from the KidsWords project will provide teachers, early childhood educators, speech-language therapists and researchers with important information about the early language development of NZ children.
Researchers involved in the project (note change of affiliation for 4 people)
Thomas Klee (now at University of Hong Kong), Stephanie Stokes (now at University of Hong Kong), Elaine Reese (University of Otago), Rune Nørgaard Jørgensen (University of Southern Denmark), Dorthe Bleses (Aarhus University, Denmark), William Gavin (Colorado State University), Nate Wichitaksorn (Thailand Development Research Institute).
Researchers involved in the project
Thomas Klee, Stephanie Stokes, Elaine Reese (University of Otago), Rune Nørgaard Jørgensen (University of Southern Denmark), Dorthe Bleses (University of Southern Denmark), William Gavin (Colorado State University), Nate Wichitaksorn (University of Canterbury).
Most frequently occurring names of children who have participated so far
Funded in part by the CDI Advisory Board and the Mardsen Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand (UOC1003, 2011-2014).