We are a public research laboratory in Paris specializing in the psychophysics, experimental and developmental psychology of perception, action, and language. Please click on the links to the left to learn more about our research and teaching.
Here is our report.
Mon27Mar201711hSalle des Conférences (R229), Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères 45 rue des Sts Pères, 75006 Paris
LPP seminar: Anne Fernald, Dept Psychology and Program in Human Biology, Stanford UniversityShow details
Talking with kids really matters: Early language experience shapes later life chances
Children from disadvantaged families typically enter school with lower language skills than children from families higher in socioeconomic status (SES). Our longitudinal studies show that these language gaps between rich and poor children begin to emerge in infancy. In diverse groups of English- and Spanish-learning toddlers from higher- and lower-SES families, we found that significant differences in vocabulary and real-time language processing efficiency were already evident at 18 months, and by 24 months there was a 6-month gap between SES groups in processing skills critical to language development. Where do such early differences come from? One critical factor is that parents differ in the language stimulation they provide their infants. We have found that parents who talk more with their children in engaging and supportive ways have children who are faster in language processing and more advanced in vocabulary than those who hear less child-directed speech. We also explore how vocabulary gaps become knowledge gaps. High-quality verbal engagement includes extensive elaboration – linking new words together in ways that help the child build up complex concepts. Through rich verbal interactions with caregivers, infants begin to link words together into networks of meanings, with cascading benefits for the growth of knowledge. Converging findings from observational and experimental studies show that regardless of economic circumstances, parents who are more verbally engaged with their infants can help their children learn more quickly.
Invited by the Speech team