Helping Zooma learn an alien language

Your child will play a space game. In the game, our alien friend Zooma is going on a trip to a new planet. On the new planet, they speak a language called Zilly. Your child will help Zooma practice speaking in Zilly so she can talk to the other aliens when she arrives on the new planet!

How to participate

On lookit

Who can participate

6- to 8-year-old children with typical hearing and vision (corrected is fine, e.g. glasses or hearings aids) who hear English at home (bilingual/multilingual are also welcomed); US only.


20 min


Eligible participants will receive a $5 Amazon gift card within one week of participating in the study. To be eligible for compensation you must (1) meet the eligibility criteria and (2) provide a valid consent video. Each child is eligible to participate in the study and receive a gift card only once.

What we’re studying

This study was designed to find out whether children can learn the rules of a language just by listening to someone else speaking the language. Researchers already know that children can learn simple language rules this way (“the” will be followed by a noun in English). We want to know whether children can learn more complex rules like this, too (“my mom’s sister’s dog” is fine, but “the dog of the sister of my mom” is not so good). This study will help us better understand how children are so good at learning complex rules in their native language.


Still have questions? Send us a message and we will be happy to help.