Bearsdley Ruml Distinguished Service Professor
Susan Goldin-Meadow is the Beardsley Ruml Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and has been studying language learning and language creation since her Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania in 1975.
Professor Goldin-Meadow has served as a member of the language review panel for NIH, has been a Member-at-Large to the Section on Linguistics and Language Science in AAAS, and was part of the Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development sponsored by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine and leading to the book Neurons to Neighborhoods. She is a Fellow of AAAS, APS, and APA (Divisions 3 and 7). In 2001, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a James McKeen Cattell Fellowship which led to her two recently published books, Resilience of Language and Hearing Gesture.
Professor Goldin-Meadow studies the impact of the linguistic environment on language learning by observing children who lack access to conventional linguistic input (i.e., deaf children whose hearing losses prevent them acquiring the spoken language that surrounds them and whose hearing parents have not exposed them to sign language). She has also explores the spontaneous gestures that hearing children and their hearing parents produce during the earliest stages of language learning, showing that these gestures not only provide insight into a child’s next linguistic milestones, but can also play a role in helping the child achieve those milestones.