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Help Your Baby Talk

Although learning a new language can be difficult even for adults, babies can effectively learn their native language in less than two years. This may be because language learning begins while the baby is still in the womb and because it is a skill that we are all born with. There are several things you can do to help your baby talk, such as singing to your baby, playing games that encourage your baby to make sounds, and reading to your baby.

Helping Your Baby Talk: An Overview

Learning a new language is typically a difficult undertaking for most adults, yet babies learn their native language enough to communicate well, in most cases, in less than two years. There are a number of theories as to why babies are such effective learners.
Some of the theories on infant language development suggest that:
  • Language learning is a skill that we are all "pre-wired" for or born with
  • Language learning begins while the baby is still in the womb and possibly because hearing is the one sense that is well developed by birth
  • Adults make learning language easier for babies by talking slower, adjusting the pitch of our voice, and exaggerating the basic elements of speech.
There is likely a little bit of truth to all of them. One thing that is certain, babies do seem to possess superior language learning skills compared to most adults. This information has led most language researchers to believe that there is a language-learning window, or "critical period," during a person's infancy. During this critical period, the sounds your baby hears and makes are both very important.
(Click Language Development in Children to learn more.)
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