How do babies learn to talk? By watching TV or watching you? According to new research by David Lewkowicz, babies learn to speak by watching your lips.
The 4 month olds looks mostly at the eyes.
A 6 month old will look at the eyes and mouth.
The 8-10 month old looks mostly at the mouth.
There's more than watching lips too. Babies love to put their hands on faces and can feel how the lips form words as well as the vibration from the vocal cords. They learn social skills with the give and take of conversation. Babies do not have fully formed vision until the age of two so holding a baby or getting close will help them gaze into your eyes and read your lips.
While struggling to provide many of the basic needs, low-income parents speak fewer words than middle-class parents. By the age of three, it's estimated that these children hear 30 million fewer words - known as the 30 Million Word Gap. Parents should talk to their children constantly. However, children need more than just the words we speak on a daily basis.
Try this activity. Open a children's book to any page. Now, find the words that are not in your everyday vocabulary? Those would be additional words your child would learn from a book.
Try counting the words dad uses in this 5 minute video!
Watch this video of twins babbling in a conversational tone!
For the classroom: Literacy Readiness