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Examples of tasks

Learning to talk

In this game, your child has to help inventor Daisy teach her robot Kroink to talk. To do this, your child sits in front of a laptop and sees different animal pictures. Robot Kroink tells different stories about the animals but he can’t quite manage to say everything in one sentence. Your child has to help Kroink by pressing a button so that Kroink says the next part of the sentence. For example, you child first hears “the lion”, presses the button and hears “is digging”, presses the button again, hears “a hole”, etc.. This is how Kroink learns how to use full sentences. To be sure that she understands everything, Daisy sometimes asks your child a question about what Kroink just said. This task helps us to discover how your child understands sentences. We can deduce this by calculating how long it takes your child to press the button at certain points in the sentence.

Judging sentences

This task is the second part of the first game. Kroink is now able to use full sentences, but she still can’t speak Dutch very well. For example, she says “lion the is digging a hole”. Your child’s task is to help Daisy the inventor one more time by telling Kroink whether her sentence is right or wrong. In doing so, we can see which combinations of words your child allows in Dutch.

Nemo

This game allows us to see how good your child is at ignoring irrelevant information. Your child sees a picture of the fish Nemo on the laptop. The idea is that your child feeds Nemo. To do this, your child needs to press two fish buttons on the keyboard: one on the left and one on the right. When Nemo is swimming towards the left, your child has to press the button on the left, and when Nemo is swimming towards the right, your child has to press on the button on the right. This should happen as quickly as possible. At times there are other fish swimming next to Nemo, sometimes in the same direction, sometimes in the other direction. In this latter case, your child needs to ignore the direction the other fish are swimming in. Previous research has shown that bilingual children are sometimes better than monolingual children at doing this.

Language proficiency

It is important for us to know how proficient your child is in both languages. We can find this out in various ways. For example, by using a vocabulary task: your child sees four pictures on a laptop and hears a word. Your child has to then point at the picture referred to by the word. Another example of such a task is a sentence repetition task. In this task, your child listens to a number of sentences which he or she has to repeat as precisely as possible. We will of course also ask you about your child’s proficiency when completing the questionnaire.

sentence repetition task