Twila Z. Tardif is a Professor of Psychology and a Research Professor in the Center for Human Growth and Development. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1993 and has served as a curriculum consultant for the Singapore Ministry of Education, Nickelodeon, and Age of Learning, Inc..
I have over 20 years of experience doing in research on Chinese and English speaking children's early language development as well as neurophysiological approaches to early emotion regulation in preschoolers and young children. My research began with language and cognitive development studies of typically developing children in China, Hong Kong, and the US, and now also includes emotion regulation in developing children in China, Japan, and the US. More recently, I now also include children affected by biological insults such as pre-term birth and iron deficiency in my samples and am interested in furthering my understanding of the biological impacts on development through environmental exposures. I have a deep background in behavioral aspects of language development research, spanning a range of methods from observations of naturalistic interactions (early career/NSF funded), to the development of standardized testing instruments (NSF, CNSF, and HK RGC funded), and experimental procedures for assessing children's early word knowledge (NIH R03 award). I have also examined both neurophysiological (ABR, ERP) and neuroimaging (fMRI, fNIRS) methods for examining specific questions pertaining to both individual and cross-linguistic differences in language development and in emotion regulation. My current passion is in finding ways to "stop wasting children's time." I have provided guidance in how to design curricula and presentation methods for facilitating the learning of English and Mandarin Chinese for native and non-native speakers in young children. Now, I would like to take that one step further and examine what actually "works" in educational apps and animations, using the tools of developmental science. My goal is to engage in and promote research that helps children with early language learning. Educational apps and animations are pervasive, yet poorly understood,and my goal is to develop the research methods and tools that will provide the next generation of learners with engaging and useful language learning experiences.
Tardif, T. (2015). Early vocabulary learning in Chinese-speaking children. In W.S.-Y. Wang & C. Sun (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics. Oxford University Press. Song, S., Su, M., Kang, C., Liu, H., Zhang, Y., McBride-Chang, C., Tardif, T., Li, H., Liang, W., Zhang, Z., & Shu, H. (2015). Tracing children’s vocabulary development from preschool through the school-age years: An eight-year longitudinal study. Developmental Science, 18(1), 119-31. doi: 10.1111/desc.12190 Chonchaiya, W., Tardif, T., Mai, X., Lin, X., Li, M., Kaciroti, N., Kileny, P.R., Shao, J., & Lozoff, B. (2012). Developmental trends in auditory processing can provide early predictions of language acquisition in young infants. Developmental Science. doi: 10.1111/desc.12012. Mai, X.Q., Tardif, T., Doan, S.N., Liu, C., Gehring, W.J., & Luo, Y.-J. (2011). Brain activity elicited by positive and negative feedback in preschool-aged children. PlosONE, 6(4): e18774. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018774