Infants are wired to accept different languages in face to face interactions….
Babies’ brains are naturally wired to learn language. In fact, they are able to process every sound of every language in the world before approximately nine months of age, when they begin to prune out sounds from languages they do not hear every day and focus on their own native tongue. These sound units, called phonemes, are the foundation upon which language is built.
It starts in utero
At as early as sixteen to eighteen weeks’ gestation, the mechanisms of the inner ear begin to form. Unborn babies hear their mother’s heartbeat, the movement of the amniotic fluid, and their mother’s voice amplified through the body. They show recognition of their mother’s voice as soon as they are born.
The good news: babies begin processing phonemes before they are even born, too. We can use this early sense of hearing and innate ability to process varying phonemes to prime babies’ brains for a world of words that will help them become smarter.
Early language exposure boosts academics later on
Additional studies reveal that early language interactions are the strongest predictor of future academic skills and that the early integration of a second language improves children’s higher-level cognitive and academic skills later on. Some studies show that bilingual children typically earn higher scores in mental flexibility, non-verbal problem solving, and grammar…