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From the Series: Aspects of Child Development: Fetus to Age 3
The Series Includes : Birth | Feeding | Perception | Bathing Playing 

For the newborn, the notion of coexistence-that there are others in their world with whom they can communicate-begins with crying. In this program, researchers and other experts join with parents to discuss the steps children go through in mastering their mother tongue. Topics include the process of cognition, a baby's ability to make use of body language and semiotic gestures, babbling as a precursor to language acquisition, timeframes for learning to speak, and growing up in a multilingual home.


 Closed Captioned

Importance of Language to Infants (05:42)
Humans only master language through exposure but studies show that babies can learn to identify their mother's voice before birth.

Infant Communication: Crying (04:38)
Babies begin to communicate by crying, often imitating the cries of other babies and resulting in an awareness of others.

Proto-Conversation and Vocal Gestures (05:12)
As a precursor to language, very young babies like to engage in face-to-face exchanges with parents. When speaking to their child parents often over accentuate vowels and consonants, making it easier for children to learn these sounds.

Rapid Language Processing and Cognitive Processing (02:59)
From the very beginning there is cognitive processing in babies, eventually developing meaning. Language develops through both rapid and cognitive processing mechanisms.

Baby Talk: Early Language (05:51)
Doctors believe that babies pick up linguistic messages from adults through gestures, body, and verbal cues. Mentally healthy children first begin to communicate using their bodies.

Sound Imitation: Mimicking the Mother Tongue (05:00)
By 20 months of age most humans begin mastering their mother tongue. At 8 to 10 months of age children begin imitating sounds similar to the language they hear. Babies are born with the capacity to produce over 400 phonemes.

Early Childhood Communication Methods (04:41)
Babies are extremely communicative between themselves and utilize their own methods of communication. Children often understand adult speech long before they are able to speak themselves.

Strategies for Language Mastery in Children (03:58)
Some children develop their first words from their babbling, creating short one-syllable words. Other children will blend sounds and intonations to create whole sentences. Children who use language to process thought often begin talking later.

Language and World Perception (04:44)
The more languages a child hears, the more phonemes he or she will retain, increasing the child's capacity to speak multiple languages.

Rate of Language Development (03:48)
Parents often worry about the rate of their child's language development but children should be allowed to develop at their own pace without being pushed too hard by their parents.

Role of Fathers in the Acquisition of Language (05:14)
While mothers and children become deeply connected and communicate intuitively, fathers typically play a crucial role in the child's acquisition of language.

Length: 55 minutes

Copyright Date: 1999




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