Use Examples to Develop Kids’ Language Skills Parents can help develop toddlers’ language skills by showing them varied examples of different actions, according to a study published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology. Previous research has shown that verbs pose particular difficulties to toddlers, as verbs refer to actions—which are often different each time a child ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   August 01, 2014
Use Examples to Develop Kids’ Language Skills
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Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   August 01, 2014
Use Examples to Develop Kids’ Language Skills
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB5.19082014.np
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB5.19082014.np
Parents can help develop toddlers’ language skills by showing them varied examples of different actions, according to a study published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology. Previous research has shown that verbs pose particular difficulties to toddlers, as verbs refer to actions—which are often different each time a child sees them—rather than to objects.
University of Liverpool and University of Sussex psychologists had a group of 24-month-old toddlers watch one of two short videos. They then examined whether watching a cartoon star repeat the same action—as compared with performing three different actions—affected the children’s understanding of verbs.
Lead author and developmental psychologist Katherine Twomey says, “This is the first study to indicate that showing toddlers similar but, importantly, not identical actions actually helped them understand what a verb refers to, instead of confusing them as you might expect.”
Collaborator Jessica Horst, from the University of Sussex, adds, “It is a crucial first step in understanding how what children see affects how they learn verbs and action categories, and provides the groundwork for future studies to examine in more detail exactly what kinds of variability affect how children learn words.”
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August 2014
Volume 19, Issue 8