Parents increase the number of words their toddlers learn every time they speak with them. However, other factors, such as nonverbal cues, may also affect how much they can absorb, reports

In the study, researchers from the University of Chicago recorded 90 minutes of interaction between 50 primary caregivers and their children who were 14 to 18 months old. They then asked 218 adults to watch 40-second muted vignettes of the said videos, and asked the participants to guess which words were being spoken every time they heard a beeping sound.

Some of the words from the videos were easily guessed by the volunteers because of the nonverbal cues that the caregivers provided their kids. Actual objects, for example, were referenced by the adults, which may have made the words easier to understand for the kids as well.


To improve your child's collection of words, it would be best to connect their growing vocabulary with images from books or from the environment. Making associations between sound and vision may help your child learn faster and better.

(Photo by Ari Frede via Flickr Creative Commons)

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