06 Feb '12, 9pm

18-to-30 month infants have no problem differentiating between different languages, NUS study finds

SINGAPORE - A child's language learning ability is not hindered even if he or she is taught multiple languages, according to a landmark study here. The study of 100 infants, aged between 18 and 30 months, found they could coordinate different sets of rules when learning different languages. The infants were taught a new word using a video display, and then an element, for example, the tone, would be changed. Researchers would track the children's eye movements to see if they thought the meaning of the word had changed. Associate Professor Leher Singh from the National University of Singapore's Department of Psychology found that children aged 18 months could differentiate words using vowels and tones in the languages that they are learning, and it did not matter if they were monolingual English learners or English-Mandarin bilinguals. When children reached the age of 24 mo...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC120207-0000059/Le...

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