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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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The more languages, the better? Hmmmm maybe... child development language acquisition linguistics Feb 24, 2021

Yes, Babel Babies is a multilingual programme, but that's not to say that children can learn infinite languages simultaneously, or that a smattering of lots of languages is enough if there isn't at least one language learned to an age-appropriate...

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Are children who mix their languages confused? Let's explore this child development language acquisition languages linguistics Feb 17, 2021

There is so much confusion around mixing languages, and it worries me that parents and children are often left feeling ashamed of this very natural, normal, and creative by-product of bilingualism.

Mixing languages is a stage in the process of language...

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Learning languages: the earlier the better? child development language acquisition Nov 20, 2020

I often hear people saying 'the earlier the better' when it comes to learning languages. But it's a more complex issue that needs some unpacking, rather than a universally applicable statement of fact.

A really important thing to consider when thinking...

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Can toddlers have a conversation? child development language acquisition Feb 04, 2019

Do conversations with toddlers work? This is a headline we spotted today. We sometimes get asked why we bother talking to children under 2, because they can’t have a conversation (the implication being they can’t understand).

Well, they can...

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Babel Birthday child development Sep 12, 2018

On the eve of the Babel Boy's birthday, Cate reflects on how being a part of the little language revolution (whether he wants to or not!) has shaped his outlook as he reaches his 8th year.

When he was born, I didn't know if I was going to speak English...

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B&W Book Project child development Jul 02, 2018

When we saw the Black & White Book Project on instagram was from Bristol, we just had to find out more about these locally-produced books for babies and their educational value from designer Ruth...

Ciao Ruth, we recently spotted you on Instagram...

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