Why some children learn to speak earlier than others
Last Updated: January 29, 2024, 12:22 IST
Most babies speak their first words in the first 18 months.
New research has made revelations about why such differences exist among children.
A child’s formative years are very important because the behaviors and attitudes they acquire during this period determine what kind of person they will become. It is also during this time that the child picks up words and learns to speak. There can be big differences between the amount of time it takes different children to learn to speak. Most children speak their first words in the first 18 months and then take until the age of two to three years to speak sentences. Some children start doing this quickly. New research has made revelations about why such differences exist among children.
The goal of the study, led by psychologist Elika Bergelson, is to determine the reasons behind the differences in the amount of time it takes children to acquire a language. International psychologists examined 1001 children up to the age of four in the study. Surprisingly, it is known that the number of years it takes for a child to learn to speak has nothing to do with anything such as the time of day they speak, their gender, their socio-economic environment , exposure to multiple languages, etc. in each case it was found that children who learned to speak early heard from adults.
While learning a language has little to do with it, a parent’s poor economic and social circumstances are often blamed for a child’s late speaking abilities. Studies show that a child’s tendency to learn a language increases with the number of people who talk to him. Parents and anyone living near children should be encouraged to communicate as much as they can in such circumstances.
In such circumstances, it is important to remember that children in joint families in rural regions have more opportunities to listen than to speak, which makes them more inclined to communicate at a young age. On the contrary, they are less likely to interact in a city environment due to fewer people and therefore may be late in acquiring the language.
This study covers 12 countries and 43 languages and includes both rural and urban children. In the research, children between the ages of two months and four years old recorded the sounds around them several times during their growth. Forty thousand hours of recordings were studied through machine learning and the effect of various factors on the language learning process was investigated, and it was clearly seen that children who were more listening also start talking earlier.