Babies Learn Language Socially

“It has to be social.” That’s the advice Patricia Kuhl gave to me and another CNS 2015 attendee following her riveting talk about language development. It doesn’t matter exactly when you introduce a new language to a child under 7, she said, as much as it matters that the learning is in a social setting.

Co-director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Kuhl is the an expert in baby talk – having pioneered the use of new tools for measuring and understanding how language unfolds in a child’s mind. “We’re doing studies now we couldn’t have dreamed of 10-15 yrs ago,” she said in today’s talk, and those are yielding concrete understanding of how learning works in the mind of a child.

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