Giving Children Non-Verbal Clues About Words Boosts Vocabularies, University of Chicago Study

Published: Jun 25, 2013

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The clues that parents give toddlers about words can make a big difference in how deep their vocabularies are when they enter school, new research at the University of Chicago shows. By using words to reference objects in the visual environment, parents can help young children learn new words, according to the research. It also explores the difficult-to-measure quality of non-verbal clues to word meaning during interactions between parents and children learning to speak. For example, saying, "There goes the zebra" while visiting the zoo helps a child learn the word "zebra" faster than saying, "Let's go to see the zebra."

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