Researchers have long known that babies whose caregivers speak to them frequently learn more words — especially when parents use baby-talk, or “parentese.” Now, a new research study underscores the importance of the style of speech and the social context.
If you’re a parent, the quick takeaway is this: The more you talk to your baby face-to-face, using baby-talk, the more words your child will know when he or she reaches the age of two.
The most effective technique is to exaggerate vowel signs and raise the pitch of your voice. When you use these techniques, your baby is more likely to babble back — a sign that he or she is picking up the tools needed to learn new words.
The latest research comes from Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences and one of the country’s foremost researchers in language development in infants. The research is unique because “this is the first time babies have been recorded at home” while their parents spoke to them using parentese, Kuhl said.More