[EDLING:175] Study Says Babies Possess Acute Language Discrimination Ability

Francis M. Hult fmhult at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Tue May 29 18:49:02 UTC 2007


Study Says Babies Possess Acute Language Discrimination Ability

A new study by researchers from the University Of British Columbia in Canada 
has shown that babies as young as 4 to 6 months old are capable of 
discriminating between two languages just by watching the movements of the face 
of the speaker. Detailing their findings in the study published in the May 25 
issue of journal Science, the researchers say that this visual language 
discrimination property tend to diminish in older infants and those who grow up 
in a monolingual environment.

To explore the language discrimination ability in infants, researchers divided 
36 infants aged 4, 6 and 8 months into five groups. The first three groups of 
babies included those who came from homes where only English was spoken and the 
two groups were comprised of those who came from bilingual homes where French 
and English were spoken.

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