Children's Vocabulary Project


​​​​Does Your First Grader Struggle with Reading or Language Development?

Vocabulary is a key component of learning to read and developing spoken communication. In the Children’s Vocabulary Project, we visit you and your child each year from first to fourth grade to assess vocabulary development. Sign up for a free online language screening to see if your child qualifies. Participants are compensated $20 per hour for their time.

Who Should Participate?

  • 6- to 7-year-old children:
    • Who are entering firs​t or second grade
    • Who speak English only (not bilingual)
    • Who have trouble learning language
      • For example, your child may have difficulty following directions, expressing thoughts, using complete sentences, using appropriate grammar and learning to read or write.

What Does Participation Involve?

  • An initial online visit via Zoom Pro with a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, who will assess your child’s language abilities at no cost to you.
  • 3–4 online visits per year for 4 years. ​Annual visits are scheduled at approximately the same time each year.
  • Each visit ​will last an hour or less and will involve computer tasks and language testing. Activities are designed to be engaging for kids, and participants will be given breaks as needed.
  • Participants are​ compensated $20​ per hour for their time.

Sign Up to​ Participate

Call ​(531) 355–5090 or fill out the form​ below:


​​The Children's Vocabulary Project (2017-2022, McGregor PI)

Funding provided by the National Institutes of ​Health

The objective of this projec​t is to discover how children's word learning changes over developmental time. The central hypothesis is that the challenge of word learning at different ages varies with the word-learning situation, the component of the word to be learned,​ and the development of underlying cognitive mechanisms. The project will test this hypothesis b​y tracking children in Iowa as they learn and retain new words over the course of one week during each of four years beginning in 1st grade.

About the St​udy

The goals of the study are:

  1. to establish a developmental trajecto​ry of word learning in stronger and weaker learners that determines:
    • how learning and development vary with the learning situation
    • how learning and development vary with the component of the word to be learned.
  2. to specify the cognitive mechanisms underlying this developmental trajectory.