Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Conversing Helps Language Development More Than Reading Alone

Date:
July 17, 2009
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
A new study shows adult-child conversations have a more significant impact on language development than exposing children to language through monologic reading alone.

Back-and-forth conversation is strongly associated with future improvements in a child's language score.
Credit: iStockphoto/Sean Locke

Adult-child conversations have a more significant impact on language development than exposing children to language through one-on-one reading alone, according to a new study in the July issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Related Articles


"Pediatricians and others have encouraged parents to provide language input through reading, storytelling and simple narration of daily events," explains study's lead author, Dr. Frederick J. Zimmerman, associate professor in the Department of Health Services in the UCLA School of Public Health. "Although sound advice, this form of input may not place enough emphasis on children's role in language-based exchanges and the importance of getting children to speak as much as possible."

The study of 275 families of children ages 0-4 was designed to test factors that contribute to language development of infants and toddlers. Participants' exposure to adult speech, child speech and television was measured using a small digital language recorder or processor known as the LENA System. This innovative technology allowed researchers to hear what was truly going on in a child's language environment, facilitating access to valuable new insights.

The study found that back-and-forth conversation was strongly associated with future improvements in the child's language score. Conversely, adult monologueing, such as monologic reading, was more weakly associated with language development. TV viewing had no effect on language development, positive or negative.

Zimmerman adds, "What's new here is the finding that the effect of adult-child conversations was roughly six times as potent at fostering good language development as adult speech input alone."

Each day, children hear an average of some 13,000 words spoken to them by adults and participate in about 400 conversational turns with adults. More conversations mean more opportunities for mistakes and therefore more opportunities for valuable corrections. Furthermore, they also provide an opportunity for children to practice new vocabulary.

Parents should be encouraged not only to provide language input to their children through reading or storytelling but also to engage their children in two-sided conversations, the study concludes.

"Talk is powerful, but what's even more powerful is engaging a child in meaningful interactions — the 'give and take' that is so important to the social, emotional and cognitive development of infants and toddlers," says Dr. Jill Gilkerson, language research director at LENA Foundation and a study co-author.

"It is not enough to speak to children," Zimmerman adds. "Parents should also engage them in conversation. Kids love to hear you speak, but they thrive on trying speech out for themselves. Give them a chance to say what's on their minds, even if it's 'goo goo gah.'"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Conversing Helps Language Development More Than Reading Alone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629132204.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2009, July 17). Conversing Helps Language Development More Than Reading Alone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629132204.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Conversing Helps Language Development More Than Reading Alone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629132204.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Phoenix hospital is experimenting with a faster way to test much needed medications for deadly brain tumors. Patients get a single dose of a potential drug, and hours later have their tumor removed to see if the drug had any affect. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) — What you do before bed can effect how well you sleep. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has bedtime rituals to induce the best night&apos;s sleep. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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