Study: Toddlers easily learn new words from their peers

Researchers find that children pick up new words easily from their peers and friends at an early age. Kids learn new words more effectively from other children and adapt them in their vocabulary.

Researcher Yuanyuan Wang from Ohio University, said, “Much of what we know about the world is learned from other people. This is especially true for young children.”

Speech is full of paralinguistic information about the speaker including age, gender and social class. Children, learn in the form of speech faster and with the influence of their peers.

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Two experiments were set up for the study, the first had toddlers watching video clips of speakers reciting nursery rhyme while listening to the speech that matched either the age or gender of one of the speakers. The second had speakers of different age groups trying to teach toddlers to use new words.

According to Wang, toddlers take more interest in learning words and pick them up faster from kids their age.

“Sensitivity to talker properties is found to be related to speech processing and language development. These are related to later personal, academic, social and overall achievements,” Wang added.


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