Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children Follow Same Steps To Learn Vocabulary, Regardless Of Language Spoken

Date:
September 15, 2004
Source:
NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development Of The National Institutes Of Health
Summary:
Regardless of the language they are learning to speak, young children learn vocabulary in fundamentally the same way, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

Regardless of the language they are learning to speak, young children learn vocabulary in fundamentally the same way, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers found that, for the seven languages studied, nouns comprise the greatest proportion of 20-month-old children's vocabularies, followed by verbs and then adjectives.

The findings appear in the July-August issue of Child Development.

"This study shows that while languages may differ greatly, the sequence by which young children learn the parts of speech appears to be the same across different languages," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD. "By learning about the normal progression of language development, we may be able obtain information that will help children who are having difficulty learning language."

For the study, Marc Bornstein and Linda Cote, researchers in NICHD's Child and Family Research Laboratory collaborated with researchers in Argentina, Belgium, France, Israel, Italy and the Republic of Korea to study language development in children learning to speak Spanish, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, and American English.

In all, 269 mothers of children age 20 months took part in the study. Of the children in the study, 117 were girls, and 152 boys. All of the children were firstborn, had been born at term and spoke only one language (the main language of the community they lived in.) The mothers filled out a standardized questionnaire designed to gauge the extent of their children's vocabularies. The questionnaire included examples of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and "closed-class" words—pronouns, question words, prepositions and articles, and quantifiers.

"Specifically, mothers in every country reported that their children said significantly more nouns than any other word class (verbs, adjectives, closed-class words)," the researchers wrote.

The researchers added that the finding held true regardless of whether the language spoken tends to emphasize nouns, as does American English, or verbs, as does Korean.

"There is a universal order to how children learn language," Dr. Bornstein explained. "No matter what language they speak, children are acquiring classes of words in a particular order because of what the children are bringing to the task."

Dr. Bornstein theorized that children learn nouns first because nouns are concrete things that can be seen and touched. Verbs and adjectives are more abstract, and so are more difficult concepts for children's minds to grasp.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development Of The National Institutes Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development Of The National Institutes Of Health. "Children Follow Same Steps To Learn Vocabulary, Regardless Of Language Spoken." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040915113243.htm>.
NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development Of The National Institutes Of Health. (2004, September 15). Children Follow Same Steps To Learn Vocabulary, Regardless Of Language Spoken. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040915113243.htm
NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development Of The National Institutes Of Health. "Children Follow Same Steps To Learn Vocabulary, Regardless Of Language Spoken." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040915113243.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins