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Ivania Salmeron’s RA Experience: Sung Words and Infants’ Word Learning

My name is Ivania Salmeron and I am working alongside Dr. Christine Tsang and my fellow RAs on developing a virtual study to test the effects of sung words on infants word learning of spatial metaphors. More specifically, to investigate whether brief exposure to sung words (in comparison to spoken words) facilitates infants ability to learn spatial metaphors in the visual modality. 

The team of RAs and I began this project by first conducting various literature reviews on other studies related to our topic and how those studies were conducted. Our primary goal is to find an effective way to translate this study into a completely virtual study in order to get as many participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, I am currently gaining new skills such as script writing using the platform JSON in order to write out how the study will flow on the site where will be conducting the study. This is a skill I know will become beneficial as I progress in my educational pathway and have to conduct research studies of my own. 

I am currently working alongside two RAs in upper years and I believe being able to collaborate and share ideas with them has allowed me to grow in my own research skills and become a more effective research assistant due to the skills and knowledge the upper year RAs have provided me with. At times, I did feel a bit intimidated by the upper years I was working with as they had much more knowledge. However as time went on, I began to feel more confident in my abilities with the immense support the team and Dr. Tsang have provided me with so far. The team is here to support one another, share ideas, and collaborate! 

Overall, I am very grateful to be of this project as it is an amazing learning experience getting to work with Dr. Tsang and the rest of the team. I am very excited to see what’s to come of this project and so glad I get to be part of it! 

A smiling photo of Ivania Salmeron. She is a Huron student with long, dark hair. She is wearing a black turtleneck.