Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative

Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative

A community studying language and literacy

The Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative allows researchers to share ideas and technological breakthroughs. ILLI researchers interested in language from biological and psychological perspectives collaborate with researchers from Illinois' top-ranked engineering programs to build knowledge, tools, and applications.

An eye tracker measures a research subject's eyes at the Beckman Institute, while an image of the eyes shows up on the computer monitor opposite.

Studies involve:

  • Uncovering the subprocesses involved in both language comprehension and production
  • Studying language in all its forms, like reading, listening, speaking, signing, and in different contexts, from reading single words to conversing to integrating language with other information sources while learning
  • Understanding early language skills in infants and children, all the way through changes in language processing in healthy older adults and those with cognitive impairments
  • Learning about native and second-language users who speak English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Hindi-Urdu, and ASL, among others
  • Developing literacy, including in young and middle-aged adults

ILLI researchers look at individual differences, use interventions, and study applications using the fields of education, artificial intelligence, engineering, and brain-machine interfaces.

Their tools involve observational, behavioral, eye-tracking, computational, corpus-based, signal processing and neuroimaging work.

View people in this group

Group leaders

  • Kara D. Federmeier
  • Kiel Christianson

Latest news

  • News
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    Husain's team receives DPI award for hearing research

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    Keep your friends close, cortisol levels low for life, study finds

    Easy tangram shapes such as a dog and a tree are juxtaposed against more difficult tangram shapes, which are harder to describe in concise words.
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    Beckman neuroscientists uncover new neuronal circuitry that controls auditory sensory perception

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    Several Illinois research projects result in Best Paper Awards

    An aerial view of the east side of the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
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    2021 Beckman Institute postdoctoral fellows announced