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Thread: Baby Talk - Helping Or Hindering?

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    Decapitation?DontBePicky! Raimann may be famous one day Raimann may be famous one day Raimann's Avatar
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    Baby Talk - Helping Or Hindering?


    "Does Johnny have to go potty?" "Do you want some wa wa?"

    Speaking to young children this way sounds sweet and motherly, but it may also slow down language development. A study published in Cognitive Psychology suggests that speaking in complex sentences to young children may set a better example and improve their language skills.

    Janellen Huttenlocher, Ph.D., head of the developmental psychology program at the University of Chicago, observed 305 local children in 40 preschool classrooms. She found that children whose teachers used complex speech—sentences with multiple nouns, verbs or clauses—had higher language-comprehension skills.

    In a separate study, Huttenlocher found that children whose mothers used more complex language were more likely to do so themselves. But parent/child studies cannot confirm that the way we speak to children affects their language skills because the results could be attributed to genetic or other factors.

    Lisa Washington, head nursery and kindergarten teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, agrees that baby talk is a hindrance: "Grown-ups feel they have to talk slowly or loudly or with a singsongy voice to kids." She says this doesn't challenge children to learn new language skills.

    What may seem like common sense to preschool teachers has been a subject of hot debate by scientists. For years, many researchers assumed that language was programmed into the brain from birth, says Huttenlocher, because all babies have similar grammar patterns when they first start to speak. Linking language skills to environment, she says, "was a real scientific thrill."

    taken from Psychology Today: Baby Talk Hinders Learning

    You all know that when you were young (most of you), your mother and father degraded their speaking ability to 'help you' but as this article shows, it might be doing worse. discuss, do u think talking like 'sweetly and simply' helps the baby, or hinders his or her learning.

    I beleive that it hinders the baby's learning. when i was young, my parents talked to me in polish, and when i was 3, i was fluent in polish (well, as fluent as a baby of 3 that has just learned a language....) i talked to them about this and they believed that yes, 'baby talk' comforts the kid because of the high pitched sounds and the funny words (wa-wa, ba-ba) but in the long run it is doint more damage.

    So... on to discussion.









    side note - And to whichever member i offended, im sorry, i rephrased it incorrectly
    Last edited by Raimann; Nov 02, 2007 at 04:38 PM.

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    Re: Baby Talk - Helping Or Hindering?

    I dont think baby talk is bad for real young kids(Newborn to 3 years), but after that it needs to stop. Speaking to these kids in complex sentences, probably wont do to much good. I dont think they comprehend it at that age. After that it would be a good idea to start talking in complex sentences.

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    Re: Baby Talk - Helping Or Hindering?

    I don't see it as hindering. As long as you break the habbit from after 3 years like Miruko says then it should be fine. Once the child starts to learn new words and are around people who speak fluently then it will help them. if you keep the child separate from other kids then they are going to learn. That to me is more important than being mummy cuddled for most of the childhood.

    I am one who speaks in baby language, it helps to connect and bond with the child. There is no point talking proper english to a child who doesn't understand a word your saying. So talking like they do helps them I fell.
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    Re: Baby Talk - Helping Or Hindering?

    I think baby talk is unnecessary. Provided you maintain a soothing pitch, there is no reason that you cannot speak properly to your child. Why shouldn't a three-year-old know what being "facetious" means?

    I know of two little children who request trips to the lavatory in order to "urinate" and "defecate." Neither of them is over five. They know what the words mean and use them properly (as they should).

    In short, if I have children I will not speak in "baby talk."

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    Re: Baby Talk - Helping Or Hindering?

    i believe it babies are repeaters also. so you say something they repeat it and then when you try to teach them a better tearm they stick to that one word. baby talk does hinder a child.
    i In the words of larry boy. "with great chocolate comes great responsibility."

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    Re: Baby Talk - Helping Or Hindering?

    Honestly, I think a child observes more about communication when it ISN'T being spoken to directly by a parent than he or she does when being coached with baby talk. The practice probably isn't doing the children any favors (and it makes you look ridiculous), but I'm guessing any actual harm to long-term linguistic development is negligent.

    Babies speak nonsense to each other too... and it's been implied that those interactions improve their linguistic development. The most important thing is that you're taking the time to interact with your child at all.

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    Re: Baby Talk - Helping Or Hindering?

    Quote Originally Posted by blakjapaneseangl View Post
    i believe it babies are repeaters also. so you say something they repeat it and then when you try to teach them a better tearm they stick to that one word. baby talk does hinder a child.
    But Its interesting to see that the people who think its hindering at mostly males. Makes me wonder if secretly men do speak baby talk without knowing when they do it. As a female, its kind of natural to do baby talk because its a mother instinct to try and bond with a child.
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    Re: Baby Talk - Helping Or Hindering?

    I hate baby talk! It's okay, I guess if the kid's like a couple of months old. But, when they reach like one or two years of age, that's when I think you should start talking to them like they're big kids. I can't stand when people use baby talk with my son. HE'S BLOODY TWO YEARS OLD!

    How is a kid supposed to have a decent vocabulary when he/she is still talkin' like a baby at the age of five??


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