Interaction While Reading May Aid Babies’ Language Development Back-and-forth interaction between a parent and child may be a reason why reading has been linked to language development, according to new research from the University of Iowa published in the journal Language Learning and Development. In a study observing mothers and 12-month-olds engaging in different types of play, including ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   April 01, 2016
Interaction While Reading May Aid Babies’ Language Development
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Development / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   April 01, 2016
Interaction While Reading May Aid Babies’ Language Development
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 20. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.21042016.20
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 20. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.21042016.20
Back-and-forth interaction between a parent and child may be a reason why reading has been linked to language development, according to new research from the University of Iowa published in the journal Language Learning and Development.
In a study observing mothers and 12-month-olds engaging in different types of play, including book reading, lead author Julie Gros-Louis and her team found that not only do babies make more speech sounds during reading than when playing with toys or puppets, but also that mothers are more responsive to sounds their child makes while reading together than during the other activities.
“A lot of research shows that book reading even to infants as young as 6 months of age is important to language outcomes, but I’m trying to explain why by looking at the specifics, which could be responding to speech-like sounds,” says Gros-Louis, assistant professor of psychology at Iowa.
The researchers studied 34 mothers interacting with their 12-month-olds in three 10-minute sessions, each involving a different type of activity: puppet play, toy play and book reading. The team coded responses from each child and mother to parse out data.
The results suggest parents could be advised—beyond simply telling them to read books with their children—to intently focus on specific behaviors, such as responding to speech sounds, while doing so, says Gros-Louis.
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April 2016
Volume 21, Issue 4