Monday, March 27, 2006

How babies learn their first words

Live Science reports on a study by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (Temple University, USA) into how babies learn their first words. In short, at roughly ten months old, they associate the objects they are interested in with the words they hear at the same time and they can get (temporarily) confused if a different word is being spoken than the correct name of the object that their attention is on. By 18 months, their attention and word learning can be more easily guided by others' gestures and direction of gaze. All this makes sense on a practical level to someone who has reared children. The study appears in the March/April edition of Child Development.

(Image Source: Live Science)

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