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Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies

Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies
Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another — by listening to the humans around them and "taking statistics" on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world. (Filmed at TEDxRainier.) This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxRainier, an independent event. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page.

Related:  Child Language AcquisitionChild language acquisitionHabermasEarly Childhood Learning

Babbling Helps Babies Learn Language Faster Talking to babies makes them start using language earlier, a new study shows. The study, published in Child Language Teaching and Therapy, examined data from the Growing Up in Ireland study in which 7,845 babies, around nine months of age, were studied and the factors that could affect child development such as breastfeeding, maternal education, gestational age and interactions with siblings were controlled. It was found that reading to babies improved their problem-solving and communication skills, while showing them pictures improved their communication skills but did not affect their problem-solving abilities. However, talking to children absent-mindedly, as one would do with a friend, was far better than either reading to them or talking in drills with some ulterior purpose of teaching them language.

How 'baby talk' may give infants a cognitive boost Friday January 9 2015 Babies seem to be born hard-wired with language skills "Say 'mama'! Talking to babies boosts their ability to make friends and learn,” the Mail Online reports. 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. Kuhl states that babies and young children are geniuses at acquiring a second language. 'Babies', she says, 'can discriminate all the sounds of all languages... and that's remarkable because you and I can't do that. ( - People tend to have a distinctive way of talking to babies and small children: We speak more slowly, using a sing-song voice, and tend to use cutesy words like "tummy". While we might be inclined to think that this kind of "baby talk" is easier for children to understand, new research findings in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that mothers may actually speak less clearly to their infants than they do to adults. We often try to produce sounds more distinctly when there is a chance a listener won't understand us - imagine speaking to someone over a noisy telephone connection - and some researchers have proposed that parents do the same thing when addressing children, in an unconscious attempt to help them learn the sounds of the language.

The more children hear, the more they learn EDITOR'S NOTE: This story appeared in the Studer Community Institute's education report. To read the Institute's full report, visit or Thirty million words. That's the difference between poor children and their better-off classmates. It boils down to that number in programs from the South Side of Chicago to the Pensacola Metro. It comes from a 1995 study by child psychologists that found by age 4, poor children hear 30 million fewer words than children from better-off families.

Earlychildhood NEWS - Article Reading Center When we first brought our daughter home from the hospital I was inexperienced. Mother came to help and in her always wise and gentle way said, "Honey, you need to talk to that baby." What wonderful advice! Mother's counsel paid great dividends and I remembered it when our granddaughter was born. As the nurse measured and cleaned and dressed that brand new soul, I talked to her...and she paid attention. She was interested in this talking thing. 4.1 child language acquisition theory – chomsky, crystal, Aitchison & piaget David Crystal’s Theory On Child Language Acquisition Professor Crystal is best known for his two encyclopaedias The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language and The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language. So what does this have to do with child language acquisition? David Crystal has the theory that children learn language in five stages, which aren’t clearly defined and some tie in with each other.

Mama or dada? Research looks at what words are easiest for kids to learn A baby's first words are often Mama or Dada, but new research by a Florida State University psychology professor delves into how children build on these early words to create a colorful vocabulary. "Children leverage their early world knowledge to help them unlock their language skills," said FSU Assistant Professor of Psychology Arielle Borovsky. "Knowing a few related words helps children recognize links between new word meanings, and this could be a very useful strategy for helping children learn vocabulary early in life. This might be part of the explanation for why children begin to start 'talking up a storm' between the ages of 18-24 months."

Why Study Philosophy? 'To Challenge Your Own Point of View' - Hope Reese At a time when advances in science and technology have changed our understanding of our mental and physical selves, it is easy for some to dismiss the discipline of philosophy as obsolete. Stephen Hawking, boldly, argues that philosophy is dead. Not according to Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. Goldstein, a philosopher and novelist, studied philosophy at Barnard and then earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton University. She has written several books, won a MacArthur “Genius Award” in 1996, and taught at several universities, including Barnard, Columbia, Rutgers, and Brandeis. Goldstein’s forthcoming book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, offers insight into the significant—and often invisible—progress that philosophy has made.

Early Childhood Care and Education UNESCO’s activities in ECCE focus on influencing policies and practices through evidence-based advocacy, knowledge generation and sharing, capacity-building and technical assistance. These include work in specific areas such as teachers, monitoring and integration. UNESCO collaborates with government officials and other key stakeholders concerned with the care and education of young children aged 0-8. As this age bracket covers children in various developmental stages, it is naturally difficult for countries to address all children within this group simultaneously and equally.