This application requests support for an interdisciplinary predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in Language Processes, emphasizing the link between child language acquisition arid adult language comprehension and production. The project is housed in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and includes ten training faculty who study a broad range of language comprehension, acquisition, and production processes. The program is motivated by important changes in language research that need to be addressed with a new kind of training. Language comprehension, production, and acquisition research have each traditionally been studied in isolation, but it is becoming crucial to understand the relationships between these subfields. Training practices are lagging behind these cross-cutting new research efforts, and institutional barriers limit the extent to which students are trained in both language acquisition and adult language performance. The highly cohesive group of training program faculty spans these research areas and is committed to training the next generation of researchers in a way that emphasizes the growing connections between these fields. The goal is not to create scholars who will necessarily study both acquisition and processing, but to create researchers who consistently consider issues of both the child and adult state in their chosen area of research. Funds are requested to support five predoctoral and two postdoctoral trainees per year. Training will take place within one of the top-ranked U.S. Psychology Departments and at an institution with outstanding research facilities and resources. Coursework will span departments, and trainees will participate in activities specifically designed to foster integration of theory and research in acquisition and adult processing, as well as integration of research across typical and atypical populations. Postdoctoral trainees will receive training in areas of language research that are distinct from those that were the focus of their predoctoral work.
The proposed training program will facilitate the training of the next generation of language researchers. By integrating the study of language development and adult language processes, and bringing together the study of typical and atypical language trajectories, this training program will support the development of young researchers whose independent research programs address key areas of public health concern.
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