Early Word Learning in Toddlers

Description of the Research Project:
This project is designed to investigate how word learning unfolds in young toddlers, both monolingual and bilingual. A particular focus is how and when children appreciate the role of tone in Mandarin Chinese as determining the meanings of words. Toddlers are taught new words and then presented with tonal variants of those words. Their eye movements are recorded to determine how accurate they are at mapping words to meaning.

Student's role in this project:
Students are involved in infant and toddler testing. In addition, they will be involved in data coding, data analysis and if interested, in manuscript preparation and publication of findings.

Ecosystem Recovery in Response

Ecosystem Recovery in Response to Natural and Human Disturbance: Pang Nga Bay Thailand

Description of the Research Project:
There is increasing recognition of the value of mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs in providing habitat for important ocean products and protecting coastal communities from natural disasters, including tsunamis. Both natural events and human activity stress all of these ecosystems; and most are now in decline compared with historical periods. For example, mangrove coverage along the Andaman Coast and in the Gulf of Thailand has decreased by almost 20% in the last thirty years, largely in response to human disturbance, but also natural events. Some researchers believe that the health of any one of these components relies, in part, on chemical, biological, and hydrodynamic interaction between all components. Such ecosystem "facilitation", which has yet to be shown in the Indian Ocean where biodiversity is very high, may be of enormous importance for the protection of coastlines from natural disasters, as well as, the preservation of fishing livelihoods. The objective of this project is to understand the extent that ecosystem facilitation occurs between mangrove forests, sea grass meadows, and coral reefs, with respect to natural and anthropogenic stressing phenomena.

Student's role in this project:
Students participate in field sampling campaigns and lab analysis of sediment and selected element fluxes among mangrove, seagrass, and coral ecosystems at the field site in Southern Thailand. The students will work with graduate students and post-doc students in a field setting on the remote island of Ko Yao Yai in Pang Nga Bay, along the Andaman Coast of Thailand. The student contributions will help form the basis for published works, and collected data will be used to parameterise models predicting sediment and nutrient movement between the three ecosystem components.

The Rising Trend of Singlehood

The Rising Trend of Singlehood (delayed marriage and non-marriage) among Chinese Singaporeans and in Major Cities of China

Description of the Research Project
This MCYS Family Research Fund (FRF) project will draw upon in-depth interviews and focus group discussions conducted in Singapore and Beijing with parents, policy-makers, private matchmaking agencies and never-married ethnic Chinese women and men between the ages of 30 to 44. The main purposes are to look comparatively at singles in Singapore and Beijing, 1) to gain a sense of how people's gender perceptions and career aims influence their choices and decisions on marriage; 2) to fully understand the relationships between the single and the family of origin; 3) to investigate the roles of state dating services and private matchmaking agencies in these two countries and to identify gaps in social services and social policies.

Student's role in this project
As a training process, the students will firstly be involved in three focus group discussions with never married men, women, and parents of singles, three interviews with policy-makers and four interviews with matchmaking agencies and five-ten interviews with singles, which will be facilitated and conducted by the Principal Investigator (PI) and the Co-Investigator (CI). The students will be involved in note-taking and verbatim transcribing.

The female student will conduct five-seven interviews with single women while the male student will conduct five-seven interviews with single men under the supervision of the CI. The students will be involved in establishing contact with the interviewees, conducting interviews, taking notes, and transcribing verbatim. They will also be involved in analysing the qualitative data collected from the interviews and focus group discussions using NVivo software.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Dean's Office, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences National University of Singapore

  • Add: The Shaw Foundation Building, Block AS7, Level 5
  • 5 Arts Link, Singapore 117570
  • Level 5 (Undergraduate) & Level 6 (Graduate)
  • Fax: +65 6777 0751
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