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Communication and Language Development

How children communicate: research articles

The Linguistic Genius of Babies

3 month old BellaTEDxRainier

In this presentation (filmed in October 2010), 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.

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Understanding Babbling as a Key to Development

7 month old TaviaThis article explores the significance of babies’ babble, and how these first sounds and utterances lead to more advanced communication, including both receptive and productive language.  It appears that babies’ around the world babble in similar ways, and researchers are becoming increasingly interested in interpreting these sounds and the impact they have on both cognitive and social development.

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Language Use Decreases When Television is On

2 year old Brielle, sitting in armchair with teddy bearA recent study confirms that increased televison time in a household leads to decreased verbal interaction between parent and child.  Since interaction is one of the most important ways to stimulate a baby’s brain growth, less interaction can only lead to less productive brain growth.  The study also explored the impact of television on young children’s verbal development.

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Talking to Children: Why Some Mothers Do It More

UNC FPG Child Development Institute

Noel and Mom 6 monthsHow a mother cares for her baby may determine her child’s future vocabulary and language abilities, regardless of a family’s economic status. Research shows that from a very young age, children are influenced by the way their mother’s verbally interact with them.

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Environmental Print Awareness in Young Children

Environmental Print Awareness

Danielle Z. Kassow, Ph.D.

Print is omnipresent in literate societies. Young children begin taking notice of and interacting with print in their environment and are able to identify or “read” the familiar print around them beginning at an early age. Questions pertaining to whether or not children are actually reading when they “read” environmental print were the focus of this research summary.

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A Time for Peace: Talking to Children About Their Effect on the World

Danielle Z. Kassow, Ph.D.

Abby and friendA colleague of mine recently attended several events in Vancouver where the Dalai Lama was the guest of honor. She shared some of the Dalai Lama’s teachings with me: everything we do has an effect on other people, and in order to have world peace people must first have peace within themselves. I found this to be both poignant and completely relevant when thinking about young children’s social and emotional development.

In August, I attended a brain science and early learning conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Many of the presentations focused on social-emotional development in the early childhood years as well as on programs that have been developed to teach children about social and emotional skills.

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Oral Storytelling within the Context of the Parent-Child Relationship

oral-storytellingPatricia A. Cutspec, Ph.D.

This research summary focuses on the practice of oral storytelling, which has been shown to enhance emergent literacy and language development in young children.
A thorough review of the literature reveals the need for parents and other adult caregivers to gain awareness of multifaceted approaches to emergent literacy.
Specifically, it is important to grasp that a love for literacy develops through experiences with adult caregivers. In fact, oral storytelling appears to be just as important to emergent literacy as reading to children.

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Parent-Child Shared Book Reading: Quality versus Quantity of Reading Interactions between Parents and Young Children

Danielle Z. Kassow, Ph.D

Madeline and Mom readingThe home literacy environment has an important role in young children’s emerging literacy and social-emotional development. An emphasis has been placed on storybook reading at home. However, it has been unclear how often (quantity) storybook reading should occur or how parents should interact (quality) with a young child while reading together. Results reveal the role that both characteristics (quantity and quality) play in young children’s (emerging) literacy development and the parent-child relationship.

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