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Teach Your Children Well by Talking to Them

November 17, 2013

It’s important to talk to your children, and new research shows those conversations should begin taking place when they’re toddlers.

Researchers fitted 29 children who were 19 months old with a small audio recorder that captured all the sounds he or she heard during the day in their homes.

The recordings were then analyzed to distinguish between adult speech directed at the toddlers and speech they only overheard, such as conversations between adults.

One child was on the receiving end of more than 12,000 words in a day, while another heard only 670 words of child-directed speech in a 24-hour period.

The researchers performed language skills tests on the children five months later and discovered that those who had experienced more child-directed speech had larger vocabularies than those who heard less child-directed speech.