Jones – Chinese and Deaf Studies

Professor Gabrielle Jones

Chinese language, psychology, deaf studies, computer science

Options: Volunteer Basis, Independent Funding Available, Potential for UROP Funding, Potential for Work-Study Funding, Potential for Academic Credit

Research assistant needed immediately for short term project; long-term potential

Would you like to combine your fluent Chinese knowledge, computer savy, and enjoyment of brain/mind questions into one fun research internship? If so, Professor Gabrielle Jones of School of Education and Deaf Studies invites you to join her in her study on How Deaf Children Learn to Read Chinese Script (in collaboration with Prof Caldwell-Harris, Psychology Dept).

Overview

Many scholars have observed that the Chinese writing system has fewer indications of pronunciation than do alphabetic writing systems. This raises the possibility that the meaning of Chinese words during silent reading involves reduced (or no) activation of phonology. One of the implications is that deaf children learning to read Chinese could be taught to read by focusing on the meanings of Chinese characters. However, the current method is to spend considerable time laboriously teaching deaf Chinese children how to pronounce characters, including teaching them pinyin. In our view, teachers should focus on the morphological level of words.

Prof Gabrielle Jones (of school of Ed) and Prof C-H are designing a study to measure how much phonological, morphological and semantic activation occurs when deaf chlidren in China read Chinese script. We thus seek a Chinese-speaking research assistant who is willing to help implement the study using the computerized experimental control system paradigm (see http://www.paradigmexperiments.com).

The ideal team member has native reading/writing abilities in Mandarin. No programming experience necessary, but our team member needs to be able to rapidly learn the paradigm software environment.

Time requirement is expected to be 20-40 hours in June. Longer involvement possible, including applying for UROP funds in fall. Summary salary also possible for this position, depending on the candidate.

Because Prof Jones is in China during May, send email enquiries describing your background for this job to Prof Caldwell-Harris, charris@bu.edu.