Thursday, March 03, 2016

Interaction during reading is key to language development

Public Release: 8-Jan-2016
Interaction during reading is key to language development
University of Iowa study finds how caregivers respond to the sounds babies make during book reading could be link to language development in young children
University of Iowa

Next time you read to your baby, pay attention to his babbling and respond.

Interaction, not just the sound of words being read from a page, is the key to language development during reading.

That's according to a new study from the University of Iowa that looked at how mothers responded to their 12-month-olds during book reading, puppet play, and toy play. What researchers found is the babies made more speech-like sounds during reading than when playing with puppets or toys. They also discovered mothers were more responsive to these types of sounds while reading to their child than during the other activities.

The findings might explain why book reading has been linked to language development in young children.


This isn't the first time Gros-Louis has studied how mothers respond to the babbling of their infants. In a study published in 2014, she and researchers from Indiana University found mothers who consciously engaged with their babbling 8-month-olds could accelerate their children's vocalizing and language learning.

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