"Babies all over the world are what I like to
describe as ‘citizens of the world.’ They can
discriminate all the sounds of all languages."
—Patricia Kuhl, Co-Director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington
In her TED Talk, "The Linguistic Genius of Babies," Patricia Kuhl discusses her findings regarding early language development in infants. Kuhl has discovered that there is a critical period for sound development between 6 and 12 months of age in which children can learn the sounds of any language in the world. This makes the first year of life a crucial time in which to introduce a second language.
As importantly, Kuhl's study shows that no learning takes place for this age group through audio- or video-only instruction; language learning for the young child requires human interaction. This is where we got interested, and why MamaLingua is designed for the youngest child to learn through their parents and caretakers. If we make the sounds, our children will learn them.
View Kuhl's informative and entertaining TED Talk here:
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"The perfect time to introduce your child to a foreign language is actually just when she's learning her first one."
"It’s really not a question any more of the possible drawbacks of a bilingual home. In fact, when you consider the impressive feat of a monolingual baby – going from zero words to full conversations within three years – the fact that other children can carry two times the load, coming out doubly fluent, in more or less the same time frame is stunning. It’s also testament to how expert their little brains are for soaking up languages."
A site that's all about raising bilingual kids.