Towards Diversifying Early Language Development Research: The First Truly Global International Summer/Winter School on Language Acquisition (/L+/) 2021

Paulina Aravena-Bravo, Alejandrina Cristia, Rowena Garcia, Hiromasa Kotera, Ramona Kunene Nicolas, Ronel Laranjo, Bolanle Elizabeth Arokoyo, Silvia Benavides-Varela, Titia Benders, Natalie Boll-Avetisyan, Margaret Cychosz, Rodrigo Dal Ben, Yatma Diop, Catalina Durán-Urzúa, Naomi Havron, Marie Manalili, Bhuvana Narasimhan, Paul Okyere Omane, Caroline Rowland, Leticia Schiavon KolbergAndrew Sentoogo Ssemata, Suzy J. Styles, Belén Troncoso-Acosta, Fei Ting Woon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With a long-term aim of empowering researchers everywhere to contribute to work on language development, we organized the First Truly Global /L+/ International Summer/ Winter School on Language Acquisition, a free 5-day virtual school for early career researchers. In this paper, we describe the school, our experience organizing it, and lessons learned. The school had a diverse organizer team, composed of 26 researchers (17 from under represented areas: Subsaharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Central and South America); and a diverse volunteer team, with a total of 95 volunteers from 35 different countries, nearly half from under represented areas. This helped world-wide Page 5 of 5 promotion of the school, leading to 958 registrations from 88 different countries, with 300 registrants (based in 63 countries, 80% from under represented areas) selected to participate in the synchronous aspects of the event. The school employed asynchronous (pre-recorded lectures, which were close-captioned) and synchronous elements (e.g., discussions to place the recorded lectures into participants' context; networking events) across three time zones. A post-school questionnaire revealed that 99% of participants enjoyed taking part in the school. Not with standing these positive quantitative outcomes, qualitative comments suggested we fell short in several areas, including the geographic diversity among lecturers and greater customization of contents to the participants’ contexts. Although much remains to be done to promote inclusivity in linguistic research, we hope our school will contribute to empowering researchers to investigate and publish on language acquisition in their home languages, to eventually result in more representative theories and empirical generalizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-260
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cognition and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis.


  • Online conference
  • geographic diversity
  • metascience
  • networking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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