Jennifer Sander

Junior researcher

About me

HomeLanguage DevelopmentJennifer Sander

I am a second year PhD student in the Language Development Department of the Max Planck Institute. I am working under the supervision of Caroline Rowland on a project about the role of individual differences in language acquisition.

I am interested in how children use vision to support their language learning. To understand how children learn language, it is important to not only look at one language, but to compare many languages and see what the learning processes of different languages have in common. One very important aspect regards the comparison of spoken languages to signed languages. I am interested to see in which ways hearing and non-hearing children learn language in the same or in different ways and what this can tell us about language learning in general.

Currently, I am studying the different ways signing and speaking parents interact with their children. In both language environments, signing and speaking, the child and the parent make use of (each other’s) visual attention for communication. In this study, I am interested in which ways signing and speaking parents and children use cues in each other’s gaze, for example when a child follows their parent’s gaze to identify the object they are currently talking about.