Collecting language acquisition data from understudied urban communities: A reply to Cristia et al.
Garcia, R., Albert, H. M. D., Bondoc, I. P., & Marzan, J. C. B.
Collecting language acquisition data from understudied urban communities: A reply to Cristia et al. Journal of Child Language. Advance online publication
In the target article, Cristia, Foushee, Aravena-Bravo, Cychosz, Scaff, and Casillas (2022) convincingly show the need to broaden the current language acquisition research base, not only in linguistic diversity, but also in terms of regions and cultural groups studied. In conducting acquisition research in understudied populations, such as in rural settings, the authors highlight the importance of using a multi-method approach. They present the challenges in adapting these methods to new settings and offer possible ways to promote this type of research. In this commentary, we extend the discussion to understudied urban communities, as we encounter several of the concerns raised in Cristia et al. when collecting observational and experimental language acquisition data from Metro Manila, Philippines. We first describe the community we study, the challenges and modifications needed for conducting research in this setting, and end with a discussion of possible strategies to promote research in communities with understudied populations.
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