Thursday, July 14, 2011

Two Articles on Language Acquisition in Children

First, babies need you to sneeze, cough, and make other human sounds around them. Even our non-verbal sounds apparently help them with brain development and, therefore at least indirectly, language development. Second, as babies turn into toddlers and parents start thinking about school, children need us to communicate and to encourage them to do so.

The good news about this research, like much of what I read about language development in children, is two-fold. 1) Normally, children develop linguistic and social abilities just fine, though at different speeds. This is not dependent on parents' performing some advanced level of linguistic training or cognitive guidance. What parents do naturally is often the right thing. 2) Nonetheless, parents do need to do SOMETHING, of course, and that is basically to be involved--talking, reading, and listening to their children.

Thus far our son is developing quite well, with an admirable vocabulary of well more than 50 words. He can even read the newspaper (mainly when it concerns balls or cars, but hey, he's only a baby).

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