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Do languages make your brain bigger? Jun 08, 2021

Have you seen this headline anywhere? “Languages make your brain bigger - FACT!” It’s the kind of headline that sounds amazing, but oversimplified, so I asked our multilingual ambassador, neuroscientist Dr Thomas Bak, for the...

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English Language Fact: Place Names May 25, 2021

English is one of the most spoken languages in the world, but did you know it is actually made up of lots of different languages? English is in fact multilingual, and we’ll be looking at this over a series of interesting facts.

Fact no.1 - place...

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Why is there a silent 'w' in TWO? language acquisition languages May 22, 2021

Don’t you think it’s weird that the English word ‘two’ has a silent ‘W’ in it? Especially when all the other numbers that start with a ‘tw’ we pronounce the ‘w’ – twenty, twice, twelve!...

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How to integrate languages into your homeschooling, especially if you don't speak any yourself! homeschool language acquisition May 17, 2021

Whether you’re homeschooling a toddler or a six-year-old, languages could be a really valuable part of their day.

Here are our top tips to integrate languages into any homeschool curriculum:

1. First, don’t panic! If you don’t know any...

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Can monkeys learn to speak? language acquisition linguistics May 04, 2021

Have you heard of 'the chimp wars'? Whether or not humans and apes share some of the same language-learning mechanisms is a hotly debated topic.

A researcher called Savage-Rumbaugh and colleagues published several papers in the 1990s about Kanzi the...

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Have you heard of translanguaging and wondered what it really means? languages linguistics Apr 20, 2021

Translanguaging is an increasingly popular buzzword in education, but what does it really entail? How can monolingual teachers make use of their pupils' multilingual repertoires?

I think it's understandable that teachers who speak one language (perhaps...

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Let's talk about screen time. Apr 19, 2021

Screen time is such a hot topic in the parenting world… is it ‘bad’ for our kids? Is it ‘lazy parenting?’

At Babel Babies, our weekly resources are largely based around screen time with:

prerecorded videos featuring Cate...

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Should parents stop speaking their language to their children when they start school, to help them focus on English? child development language acquisition languages Apr 13, 2021

You've been speaking your home language (e.g. Lithuanian) together since they were born. Your little one is about to start school. Should you switch to the majority language, such as English in the UK? That sounds logical, right, and would surely help...

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How do babies learn what words mean? child development language acquisition linguistics Mar 29, 2021

By 12 months, babies understand about 50 words (Fenson et al., 1994) and by age 6 a typically developing child knows between 9,000 and 14,000 words!! That's learning about 9 words a day on average! Linguist Stephen Pinker called them 'lexical vacuum...

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Did you know babies cry in different languages? child development language acquisition linguistics Mar 23, 2021

Ever wondered why we can identify our own baby's cry amongst others? Some fascinating research I've been reading about at uni this month has a theory that babies' cries are like a little melody, each with its own melodic arc.

German babies cry with...

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If adults speak so quickly (averaging 150 words per minute!) how do babies ever pick it up? child development language acquisition linguistics Mar 16, 2021

Far from being confounded by the slew of sounds they hear from birth (and even before), babies are slowly and carefully piecing together evidence of how speaking works, what it's for, how it feels physically and emotionally, what all these sounds mean,...

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Let's explore "semilingualism" and why this term is no longer used. language acquisition linguistics Mar 02, 2021

Let's talk about the damaging and redundant term 'semilingualism' that has cropped up around social media recently.

You might have heard it? Sounds a bit scary. Semi = half. Half-lingual? It's not a term that researchers use now, and it is quite...

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