Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi)

Part of Department of Language and Linguistics

Language is fundamental to our lives. 

We use it for thinking, communicating, learning and nearly everything else we do.

We're a team of internationally renowned researchers covering all aspects of language development throughout the lifespan. The broad range of our research makes us uniquely interdisciplinary, merging theories and methodologies from psychology, cognitive science, sociolinguistics and education. As the first centre in the UK to look at language throughout the lifespan, we're looking to answer difficult questions:

  •  How do we learn language, and how does our language change throughout our lives?
  • What's different about learning a second language compared to a first?
  • How do multiple languages shape our identity?
  • How does our first language change over our lifetime?
  • What if we stop using it regularly, or we suffer from Alzheimer's, a stroke or a brain injury?
LaDeLi logo of faces, young and old in cerise pink and white
Where to find us...

LaDeLi is based within the Department of Language and Linguistics and has links with MA Applied Linguistics, MA Psycholinguistics, MA Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Bilingualism Matters.

Get in touch

Participate in our research

Participant database for adults

We are always looking for new participants to join our participant pool, whether you're a:

  • Monolingual speaker
  • Bilingual speaker
  • Second language learner

For most experiments you'll be paid for your participation. Experiments involve things like reading experiments, acoustic or listening experiments, tests of memory and individual differences.

To register for our participant database click here.

Language Games Club

Our Essex Language Games Club is an informal lunch club open to anyone, staff, student or guest, who is interested in the world of language and games. We meet weekly during term-time in our Department's social space to develop, discuss, or play language games and support charities related to language games.

 To find out more about the club and how you can get involved click here.

Language, communication and dementia workshops

Our researchers are holding workshops and interviews with dementia clinicians and nurses, dementia society administrators and users, caregivers and other parties interested in Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

As part of the project that these workshops will contribute to, our researchers will develop materials and support our contributors’ future interactions with AD patients, and inform the larger community of interested parties about language-based changes related to AD.

  • Click here to register for the workshops
  • Click here to find out more about the workshops

Want to find out more about our related courses?

Join our vibrant community of staff and students working on various aspects of language development throughout the lifespan.With over fifty students on our Masters courses, as well as some twenty PhD students, we are one of the most dynamic places in the country to study language development. Many of our postgraduate students have used the international student body at Essex to conduct studies on children's acquisition of their own languages. We also offer a number of different areas of supervision for our doctoral programmes as well as research groups who meet regularly to discuss their work.


Get in touch
Get in touch
Centre for Research in Language Development Throughout the Lifespan University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872083
Department of Language and Linguistics University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872083