Research Confirms How to Teach Baby to Talk.

Baby Talk or Not?

Infant-directed speech, or baby talk, which uses a sing-song lilting, higher pitched voice with repetitive simple sounds which babies prefer and pay attention to, is just as vital up to the age of twelve months, as hearing everyday normal speech.

The child learns different things from each style of talk. From “baby talk” he learns the sheer pleasure of communicating; how to make initial simple sounds, like “ah” “oo” “bah” and “goo”, and then how put them together to make words.

Teach baby to talk by telling them the names of objects or food.Some recent research links baby talk with the development of musical ability because of its sing-song quality, wide variety of pitch, tone, vocal ” colour” and emotion.

What Babies Learn from Adult Speech

From adult talk a baby learns how different types of words are placed in sequence to create the structure of language, and he learns about the meaning of words. So it is not a case of baby talk versus adult talk, or one being better than the other.

They are both valuable at different times of a child’s speech development. So it is not a case of using “either one or the other” but of using both for the very best result.

In my book ” How to Teach Baby to Talk” , I cite research that showed that babies who were spoken to in ” parentese” style of talking (sometimes referred to as infant directed speech, or baby talk) in the first year of life, learned to speak new words faster than babies who were only spoken to in adult level language.

Listening to Adult Talk

An article in the Telegraph about recent research findings by Dr Deborah James(1), which supports the idea that talking in normal language to a baby from the time it is born has a measurable beneficial effect on the child’s speech development. Her conclusion reveals that hearing at least one hour per day of adult language is needed in order to see a marked difference in a child’s language level at age two.

It has become clear from gathering together the results of these different research projects that children benefit from hearing both kinds of language. This supports the technique of  “Extra Talk” which I explain in my book.

My ebook “How to Teach your Baby to Talk” is a 96 page, illustrated guide for parents and carers describing a sure method of teaching babies to how talk

1. The full article appears in The Daily Telegraph in Australia. Read the full article here