Archive for the Category: Language acquisition

Adjusting to a new language environment

Research undetaken at Michigan State University has found that girls can find it more difficult than boys to adjust to a new social and linguistic environment, according to an article on Science Daily. The study was of 3-6 year olds at an international school in Beijing where the children, from 16 different countries, are in […]

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Baby talk

Our brains are wired to recognise repeated auditory and visual patterns, an ability that possibly evolved as a way to detect the non-random sounds made by predators, and which is also used in language acquisition. According to a report on canada.com, researchers from Canada, Chile and Italy have done studies of newborn babies in Canada […]

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Reading baby

According to an blog post I found today, teaching a baby sign language can help him or her to learn to read at an very early age. The post is about a 17 month old girl who can read, as she demonstrates on the video embedded in the post. Her parents, who are both Speech […]

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Soaking up languages like a sponge

A report I found today talks about a school in Seattle called sponge which aims to teach babies and children four languages – Spanish, Mandarin, French and Japanese – through play, songs, stories, etc. They have teachers who are native speakers of the languages they teach and take children from as young 5 months and […]

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Word of the day – lullaby

Lullabies, from the Middle English lullen, to lull, + bye, are soothing songs usually sung to babies to lull them to sleep. An alternative name is berceuse, from the French for lullaby or “cradle song”. According to an article I found today, lullabies are not only a good way to get babies to sleep, but […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

30,000 words a day

According to a study undertaken by Infoture, children who at least 30,000 words a day from their parents and other people around are likely to excel academically as they grow up. The study found that children who heard at least 33 million words (30,000 a day) from birth the age of 3 tend to have […]

Also posted in Language 7 Comments

Tuning into language

Language and music appear to be processed in the same parts of our brains, according to the results of research undertaken at Georgetown University Medical Center. The research suggests that one part of the brain in the temporal lobes helps us to memorise information such as words and meanings in language and melodies in music. […]

Also posted in Language, Music 2 Comments

Being bilingual 有很多好處

The other day I found an interesting interview with Professor Laura-Ann Petitto, a cognitive neuroscientist who has spent the past 29 years seeking to uncover the biological and environmental factors that affect how humans acquire language and how language is organized in the brain. The main aim of her research is the find the biological […]

Also posted in Language 7 Comments

The critical period

There’s a hypothesis that we have a critical period for acquiring languages during our childhood, and that learning a language in later life, roughly after the age of 12 or 13, is difficult because of this. As a result of this theory, it’s widely believed that the earlier you start learning a foreign language, the […]

Also posted in Language 9 Comments

Tones and genes

According to an article in the New Scientist, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have demonstrated using statistical analysis that two genes, ASPM and Microcephalin, that govern aspects of brain development tend to differ between regions where tonal languages are spoken, and regions where non-tonal languages are spoken. The article also mentions that there are […]

Also posted in Evolution, Language 3 Comments