The ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD)

LuCiD LogoThe ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD) is a five year research collaboration between the University of Manchester, University of Liverpool and Lancaster University, working with partners from across the world.


Our mission is to bring about a step change in the understanding of how children learn to communicate with language, and deliver the evidence base necessary to design effective interventions in early years’ education and healthcare.

Project Website

Please visit our dedicated project website for more information about who we are and what we do.


LuCiD Venn DiagramOur research is centred on five broad themes, each led by one of the Centre’s Directors:

  • Environment
    How do children integrate multiple sources of information?

  • Knowledge
    How do children build linguistic representations?

  • Communication
    How do children learn to use language structure to communicate effectively?

  • Variation
    How do children adapt to cross-linguistic and socio-cultural variation?

  • Language 0-5
    Longitudinal study following language learning in 80 children from 6 months to 5 years.


We are also working on two technology projects:

  • The BabyTalk App project is developing an mobile phone application which allows parents to record and interpret their children's language development
  • The Language Researchers Toolkit project aims to develop open access software to provide automated transcription and coding of child spoken language.


Explanatory models of development are key to tackling the root cause of language and communication difficulties. By understanding how children learn language, we are better placed to influence the language development process.

Over the course of LuCiD, we will be working with parents, education professionals, health practitioners, policy makers and the academic community to ensure that our research has a wide reach. We will:

  • provide parents with the information they need to promote children's language growth
  • support early years educators maximise the environment for language learning
  • provide new technologies for health professionals to monitor, assess and promote children's language development and provide evidence-based advice about typical development, and how the process can go wrong in children with language delay
  • provide policy makers and commissioners information about the causes of poor language growth, the importance of early intervention, and how to choose the best evidence-based practice.

Find out more

If you would like to find our more about LuCiD, please visit our project website.