Interesting Objects Help Babies Learn New Words
Researchers at the Infant Lab at Temple University in Philadelphia have found babies can learn new words if they are associated with objects that catch their attention,
Previous studies showed babies as young as 10 months old may understand about 10 words. But Infant Lab researchers wanted to figure out how these infants actually learned words. They tested more than 75 babies, showing them a series of objects and attaching made-up names to them. They would ask the babies questions, and then track their eyes to gauge their responses.
For parents and care-givers, the message is that very young children are listening and learning language and they learn about the things that specifically interest them.
"I decided to go out and buy a couple of books that had more colorful images, words, things that would draw their attention," she said.
"At 10 months of age, when we capitalize on what babies are interested in, babies learn more than when we try to direct their attention to things that they are not interested in," said Roberta Golinkoff, director of the University of Delaware Infant Language Project.
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