Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Babies can learn words before their first birthday

10.02.2005


Although most parents, educators, and researchers believe that children can’t learn specific words until well into their second year, children younger than 1 year can, in fact, learn certain words for things that are not a regular part of their daily lives, according to new research being published in the January/February 2005 issue of the journal, Child Development.



The findings, based on research by Graham Schafer, D.Phil., of the University of Reading in Reading in the United Kingdom, suggest that what is considered a "formal" learning of a word may be underway long before children say much. "It appears that young children may understand word use more flexibly than scientists and parents have previously thought," says Dr. Schafer. The findings call into question earlier beliefs that before their second year most children only learn words for things they are interested in, or when those words are linked to certain routines, such as "bath," "car," or "cat."

To investigate this issue, Dr. Schafer asked parents of 52 nine-month-olds to use 12 board books and a set of 48 picture cards depicting common objects like keys, apples, fish, and chairs in simple games with their children four times a week for up to 10 minutes a session. The games were designed to build on the kind of routines parents already used in the home: Naming and pointing, sorting, finding the odd one out. No reading was required for either parents or children.


After three months, the children, now 1 year, received a test of word understanding in which they were shown pairs of pictures and asked to look at one of them based on what the investigator said. For instance, the investigator might say, "Fish, fish! Look at the fish!." Dr. Schafer then measured whether the child looked at the correct picture.

Children who had been through the training with their parents looked at the correct picture, while a control group of untrained children did not. "This was notable because in the test, the pictures, voices, and the context were all new to the children," said Dr. Schafer. "So we can conclude that the children who had taken part in the games with their parents had learned these particular words, and not in a way linked to a special context."

The message for parents? "They should be aware that there may be no ’lower limit’ to the age at which their children are able to learn new words," says Dr. Schafer. "Parents should definitely talk to their young children – even more than they may already do."

Andrea Browning | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.apa.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>