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How do babies start learning words?

How do babies start learning words?

At first glance, it can seem that one of the biggest challenges for learning language is figuring out what each word means. For example, learning that ‘dog’ means any furry animal that barks. We often overlook the challenge of first figuring out that when someone…

Does the age I introduce a language to a child determine how well they learn it?

Does the age I introduce a language to a child determine how well they learn it?

Languages can be learned at any age: from a nanny, on an exchange in undergrad, after a work promotion to an international office, in a seniors activity class. Caregivers and educators can feel pressure to introduce a second language from a very young age. We…

What information do newborn babies use to help them learn language?

What information do newborn babies use to help them learn language?

Imagine you are flipping through TV channels and stop on one in a language you do not know. It can be very hard to pick out words or figure out the meaning. However, what you might notice is a distinct melody. You may notice that…

Do children need to hear each language equally to become bilingual?

Do children need to hear each language equally to become bilingual?

Some kids may hear Japanese at home and English at school. Other kids may hear one of their caregiver’s speak Spanish and the other French. Bilingual children grow up learning two languages, but how much they hear or speak each language can vary greatly. Typically,…

How can I strengthen the language skills of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

How can I strengthen the language skills of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

The back and forth between speakers is one of the foundations of language. When one person speaks, soon after another person responds. It would be uncommon if a friend responded 5 minutes after you said something to them. It would also be surprising if that…

How can the sense of touch help children learn language?

How can the sense of touch help children learn language?

Children can use all their senses to help them learn language. Touch for example is a sense that children rely on from their very first days, while their other senses like sight and hearing are still developing. Touch can help children learn words. Some of…

Does showing an object while saying the word help a child learn vocabulary?

Does showing an object while saying the word help a child learn vocabulary?

When we meet a baby, we may make more exaggerated gestures than we may when talking to an adult. Can these modifications, be they small or big, actually make language learning easier? One way that our movements and gestures can help a baby learn language…

How do I build a strong foundation for a Deaf child’s literacy skills?

How do I build a strong foundation for a Deaf child’s literacy skills?

When we think of literacy, the first thoughts that come to mind might be the shapes of letters or characters or the hand movements used to write those letters or characters (see Do we need to teach handwriting these days?). There is, however, more to…

How do all the people a child interacts with influence her language development?

How do all the people a child interacts with influence her language development?

Children learn language from quality interactions. These valuable moments for language learning can arise from interactions with primary caregivers or a number of other people a child meets. Time spent with educators at nursery schools or playing with siblings at home can increase the amount…

What are the most important sources of language for a child?

What are the most important sources of language for a child?

Even very early in life, a child may hear or see language from many different people. They may go to nursery school or kindergarten and interact with educators or fellow peers. They may spend time with grandparents. They may have older siblings who play with…