New research shows the benefits of early learning

Baby

New research shows the benefits of early learning

A follow-up study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst communicating with young babies can aid their learning skills as they get older. In fact, elements of what they learn while they are between six and nine months old can show benefits after five years.

Communication is essential

One of the prime areas of benefit that was established by this study was the fact that giving names to items enabled babies to make the link between a physical object and the word they were hearing. This includes specifically naming people, animals, and everyday objects rather than simply putting them into generic groups.

A child’s early learning, particularly between six and nine months, provides a base for how they develop as they get older. If they establish the names of items and people from the time they are very young, it aids their recognition skills when they reach five years of age.

The research findings

This new research builds on the team’s earlier study into the effects of early learning. The researchers wanted to establish if what children learned between six and nine months stayed with them over the long run. The research was repeated on the same children when they reached four or five years of age, and the results were compared with a group of new children. The researchers found that those who had been given specific names as babies were able to recognise images faster than the other groups.

This new research highlights the importance of continually communicating with your baby, even if it’s not immediately apparent that he or she understands you.


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