Scientists Explain How Toddlers' Develop Their Vocabulary Skills

by VR Sreeraman on Aug 4 2007 2:24 PM

Scientists Explain How Toddlers
Ever wonder why toddlers go from barely being able to speak a few words, to chatterboxes in the spate of a few short months? Well this is the question that a language psychologist has now answered.
According to Bob McMurray at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, US, toddlers' ability to talk non-stop can be explained with a simple mathematical rule of thumb.

McMurray said that there is a simple explanation for the theory and it is the structuring of the language that provides impetus to a children's learning ability.

He explained that every language has words that are moderately difficult to learn and a few words easier to grasp.

Kids always pick up words in parallel.

These parameters were factored into a computational model, which suggests how long it takes to learn10, 000 words.

Foe very stimulation, the model produced the same type of acceleration for learning. The model showed that learning is made easier as a child picks up one word, making it easier to pick up another new word.

"Acceleration is an unavoidable by-product of variation in difficulty," New Scientists quoted him, as saying.

"Mathematically this may be true," said speech expert Lisa Gershkoff-Stowe at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, US. But she cautions that it isn't the first time a researcher has tried to explain the spurt with a computational model, and that McMurray's idea "doesn't get to the heart of why kids learn faster."

"The model also doesn't explain why older people learning a second language don't show a similar acceleration in their learning, she said.


Latest Child Health News
View All