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Listening Lesson: How babies learn languages

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My daughter is seven weeks old and is being exposed to both English and Spanish already. Another friend has just has a baby who will be spoken to in English and Welsh. It may seem silly to speak anything to babies when they can't speak back, but this video shows that it is vitally important! Watch this fascinating lecture and then try to answer the true or false questions below.

Today's talk is by Patricia K. Kuhl, Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences and co-director of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington. Patricia Kuhl studies how we learn language as babies, looking at the ways our brains form around language acquisition.

PS: Don't worry about the fact that you're not learning English as a baby. The more you expose yourself to it, the better your English will become!

Lesson by Caroline

Click here to read a full transcript of the talk →

Now decide if the following statements are true or false:

  • 1. In order to preserve languages we must speak them to our children.

  • 2. The older you get, the easier it is to learn a language.

  • 3. Unlike adults, babies can hear all the sounds of all the languages in the world.

  • 4. Babies are capable of taking statistics of more than one language.

  • 5. Babies can easily learn another language even if no human speaks it to them.