Spending more time with children improves toddlers’ word learning skills. A new study has found that toddlers are good at learning the speech of other young children. It shows that playing with other children in daycare affects toddlers’ language learning.
In the new study, the researchers compared the language learning skills of toddlers who have exposure to adults and skills of those who spend most of their time with groups of children. They wanted to see how toddlers learn the speech of other children.
For the findings, the researchers involved 88 toddlers (and their parents) in their study. In their experiment, the team analyzed the processing of speech from a seven-year-old child speaker as well as from an adult speaker.
Their analysis found that toddlers are good at processing language of the speech of young children. The team has published the study results in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
The investigators said that toddlers were very better at learning the language of young children. Those who spend most of their time with other children were extremely good at associating new words to a new object.
“However, we also found an intriguing difference in how toddlers processed new words that were related to how much exposure they had to other children,” said study co-author Katherine White.
“Most studies focus on how toddlers learn from adult speakers. But we think it’s important to explore how toddlers process the speech of children of various ages and how much they use a speech from other children to guide their language learning,” White added.