Mieke Slim

Senior researcher

About me

HomeLanguage DevelopmentMieke Slim

In my research I study how children learn words such as all, each, and every. These words are important. We use them a lot in our normal language, but they are also often used in school assignments (such as arithmetic or reading comprehension). It is difficult to learn these words. They have a mysterious meaning.

For example, compare the word all with the word dog. Dog refers to something we can see and touch in our environment. This is not possible for a word like all. So how do children learn these words, and does it matter which native language the child speaks (for example Dutch or English)?

In my studies I investigate this question in different ways. For example, I analyze conversations between children and their caregivers to see how words like all are used in the everyday language a species hears. I also play language games with children, in which we measure how children understand words such as all, each, and every and how they differ from adults in this regard.