Visit ELTBOOKS - all Western ELT Books with 20% discount (Japan only)

October 11, 2013

Science & Research

Toddler brain scan gives language insight

brain-scan.jpgThe BBC reports on some recent scientific research findings related to language learning in the early years of childhood.

The brain has a critical window for language development between the ages of two and four, brain scans suggest.

Environmental influences have their biggest impact before the age of four, as the brain's wiring develops to process new words, say UK and US scientists.

The research in The Journal of Neuroscience suggests disorders causing language delay should be tackled early.

It also explains why young children are good at learning two languages.

The scientists, based at King's College London, and Brown University, Rhode Island, studied 108 children with normal brain development between the ages of one and six.

They used brain scans to look at myelin - the insulation that develops from birth within the circuitry of the brain.

To their surprise, they found the distribution of myelin is fixed from the age of four, suggesting the brain is most plastic in very early life.

Any environmental influences on brain development will be strongest in infanthood, they predict.

This explains why immersing children in a bilingual environment before the age of four gives them the best chance of becoming fluent in both languages, the research suggests.

Read the full article from the BBC.

Photo: The left hand side of the brain has more myelin (Baby imaging lab/Brown University).

Share this:  


« Previous | Main | Next »

Recent Headlines

Columns

Columns
Hedbanz / Charades
Helene J Uchida
Columns
Think Read Write
David Lisgo

Features

Useful Links

Organizations

  • ALTEThe Association of Language Testers in Europe
  • British CouncilInformation, resources, and links to other sites
  • Cambridge English Language AssessmentInformation on examination and qualifications for teachers and students
  • IALICInternational Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication
  • IALLTInternational Association for Language Learning Technology
  • IATEFL"Linking, developing and supporting" ELT professionals worldwide
  • TESOL IncPublishing, connecting, events and career development for teachers

Japan

Comments

Events

World Today