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KQED Public Media for Northern CA

KQED Public Media for Northern CA
There was a direct correlation between the children who’d heard a lot of parent talk and how prepared they were to learn once they arrived at school. Hart and Risley wrote, “With few exceptions, the more parents talked to their children, the faster the children’s vocabularies [grew] and the higher the children’s IQ test scores at age 3 and later.” For Suskind, a lightbulb went on. “The truth is, much of what you see in children born into poverty is analogous to children born deaf,” Suskind said. “It’s a really important point. The most fundamental science shows that it’s really language, and all that comes with it, the brain-building aspect of things, that makes a difference.” Bringing Parents On Board In Suskind’s new book, "Thirty Million Words," she explains the research behind the word gap in detail, along with her research-based initiative of the same name, aimed at boosting children’s brains in the first three years of their lives. * Tune In. * Talk More. * Take Turns.

https://www.kqed.org//mindshift/42177/what-parents-can-gain-from-learning-the-science-of-talking-to-kids

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Multilingual Preschoolers It’s amazing how young children learn to converse with others. They have to not only internalize grammar and vocabulary, but also develop an understanding of culture: how to take turns in a conversation, who to talk to, and how to narrate a story. For dual language learners (DLLs) — children under the age of 5 with a home language other than English — that process can be complex. A few more myths about speakers of multiple languages Does multilingualism cause language delays and identity problems? The British Council's Nayr Ibrahim busts a few more myths about speakers of multiple languages. Myth: Multilingualism causes language delay Raising children bilingually is sometimes believed to cause language delay. This misconception is based on a separate underlying proficiency (SUP) hypothesis.

Does being bilingual make you smarter? Language teacher and researcher Miguel Angel Muñoz explains the latest research on how being bilingual affects your brain, ahead of a British Council seminar in Cardiff on whether learning a foreign language makes you smarter. You can watch the live-streamed seminar on Tuesday, 3 June. More than half the world's population uses two or more languages every day How young children learn English as another language By Opal Dunn, educational consultant and author Introduction Young children are natural language acquirers; they are self-motivated to pick up language without conscious learning, unlike adolescents and adults. They have the ability to imitate pronunciation and work out the rules for themselves. Any idea that learning to talk in English is difficult does not occur to them unless it’s suggested by adults, who themselves probably learned English academically at a later age through grammar-based text books. Read the notes below about young children learning English as another language.

How can young children best learn languages? The British Council's Tracey Chapelton explains how parents of young children can lay the foundations for success. Children's brains are highly active Your child is unique, but what all children have in common is natural curiosity and an innate ability to learn.

Listen to Your Mother Young children face a remarkable challenge in learning to use the language of their culture. Toddlers vary widely, however, in the rate at which they learn new words.1 A team of Harvard Graduate School of Education researchers set out to ask whether and how children's language environment can impact vocabulary development. In their study of mother-child pairs from low-income families, they found that mothers who used many different words (not just many words) had toddlers with faster growth in vocabulary use. During the toddler and preschool years, most children learn to use hundreds of words, combining them into sentences and engaging in conversation with others. The Power of Evening Routines The word “structure” can evoke less than positive associations. It suggests constraints, which are never a good thing, right? Wrong. It turns out that everyone benefits from a certain amount of daily structure, so long as that structure is pleasant, productive, and meaningful. Whether it’s the most inventive minds in history, or those people who live in good health past 100, a daily routine or set of micro-routines is correlated with productivity, health, and longevity.

What happens in the brain when you learn a language? Learning a foreign language can increase the size of your brain. This is what Swedish scientists discovered when they used brain scans to monitor what happens when someone learns a second language. The study is part of a growing body of research using brain imaging technologies to better understand the cognitive benefits of language learning. Tools like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electrophysiology, among others, can now tell us not only whether we need knee surgery or have irregularities with our heartbeat, but reveal what is happening in our brains when we hear, understand and produce second languages. The Swedish MRI study showed that learning a foreign language has a visible effect on the brain.

Tips on Learning to Talk Learning to talk is a process that starts at birth, when your baby experiences how voices can sound. By 2 years old, most babies have a large vocabulary and can put words together to express their needs and ideas. Let’s see how this process unfolds and what you can do to encourage your baby’s ability to communicate. From Birth to 3 Months Your baby listens to your voice. He coos and gurgles and tries to make the same sounds you make. Let's Talk What do babies need in order to learn and thrive? One thing they need is conversation — responsive, back-and-forth communication with their parents and caregivers. This interactive engagement is like food for their developing brains, nurturing language acquisition, early literacy, school readiness, and social and emotional well-being. A dispiriting number of children don’t get that kind of brain-fueling communication, research suggests. In early childhood policy (and in the wider media), much attention has been paid to the so-called word gap — findings that show that low-income children hear 30 million fewer words, on average, and have less than half the vocabulary of upper-income peers by age three. But putting that alarming number in the spotlight obscures a more critical component of the research, says Harvard Graduate School of Education literacy expert Meredith Rowe: it’s not so much the quantity of words but the quality of the talk that matters most to a child’s development.

FAQ: Raising Bilingual Children Why want bilingual children? There are many reasons, but the two most common are: 1) The parents speak different languages (say, an American woman and a Turkish man). 2) The parents speak the same language, but live in a community where most people speak something else (say, a Korean couple living in the USA). In the first case, both the mother and father may want to be able to use their own language when talking to their children.

Community Playthings Heuristic play is rooted in young children’s natural curiosity. As babies grow, they move beyond being content to simply feel and ponder objects, to wanting to find out what can be done with them. Toddlers have an urge to handle things: to gather, fill, dump, stack, knock down, select and manipulate in other ways. Household or kitchen utensils offer this kind of activity as every parent knows, and can occupy a child for surprising stretches of time. When toddlers make an enjoyable discovery – for instance when one item fits into another, or an interesting sound is produced – they often repeat the action several times to test the result, which strengthens cognitive development as well as fine muscle control and hand/eye coordination. In their book, People under Three, Elinor Goldschmied and Sonia Jackson coined the term heuristic play, to explain how to provide a more structured opportunity for this kind of activity.

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