Friday, September 09, 2011

Children's language development and the importance of teachers

Via James, I have just come across this absolutely fascinating 10-minute talk.

It demonstrates that there is a vital and very early window of learning in which babies acquire the typical sounds of their native language - has to happen well within the first year of life.

But partway through the talk, there is a piece of research showing that audio / TV make virtually NO difference to learning new sounds, it HAS to be through direct human contact.

To me, a possible implication is that this connection of learning with the social part of the brain is that it may also be true for later learning.

Perhaps teachers cannot be replaced by computers, after all - despite this new project in the USA by a private company looking to get into educational provision.


Paddington said...

I am convinced that there is a similar window of opportunity for analytical/mathematical ability.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, but (being, like Paddington, in the racket) I have often been puzzled how very elementary mathematical concepts seem to cause great conceptual difficulty to many students. My suspicion is that, whatever the basic reason, any sort of abstraction is alien to them. But at what stage of mental development this difficulty should have been removed, I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

" absolutely fascinating 10-minute talk. "

Link seems to be orphaned.

Sackerson said...

Don't know what happened there, try this:

Paddington said...

Still the same problem.