Adoptees offer clues on skills of language

Francis Hult francis.hult at
Mon Feb 15 16:40:06 UTC 2010


Adoptees offer clues on skills of language


Harvard psychologists are finding that preschool-age children adopted from foreign countries learn English in the same sequence as babies: starting with single words and progressing to word combinations and complex grammar.


That means it is not the maturity of the brain but the nature of language itself that dictates how it is learned, the Harvard scientists say.


"Because babies are immature in so many ways, it's easy to assume their language is simple because their minds are simple,'' said Jesse Snedeker, the Harvard psychologist leading the research. But this appears not to be the case, she said.


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