The Importance Of Child Directed Communication

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From infancy, children look to adults to learn things such as language and social norms. This is seen when a child and adult are playing and the adult is talking to the child, also known as child directed speech. This is when the adult has the attention of the child and uses this to directly address the child and convey important messages to the child (Shneidman & Woodward, 2016). An example would be when a parent is playing with their child and they pick up a toy and hold the toy in front of the child and repeat the word ball multiple times to indicate to the child that the object the parent is holding is called a ball. These interactions involve eye contact and joint attention between the adult and child, with child directed speech and nonverbal …show more content…
Learning new words is more than just being able to utter the word. The child must know what the word means or what the word is referring to. There are strong correlations between the amount of child direction interaction that takes place in the child’s everyday life and their vocabulary later as children (Shneidman & Woodward, 2016). Child directed interaction has a stronger influence on children’s lexical abilities and children’s speech processing abilities later in life than that which is overheard. This tends to be true even in children of larger families where overhearing a conversation takes place more frequently. This is also true with countries where child directed speech is not as common. Not only is child directed speech important, but also child directed interactions. The extent to which caregivers engage children in episodes of joint attention with objects, followed with children’s focus when labeling objects and are responsive to children’s communicative intentions, all strongly relate to children’s vocabulary (Shneidman & Woodward, 2016). This research is useful for understanding the importance of child directed speech and language development, but the correlational data does not take into account other factors that could be going on, such as the fact that caregivers who engage in joint interaction and attend to the child’s communicative needs may have other characteristics that could account for the relation between …show more content…
There has been no evidence to support this hypothesis, but there has been much correlational research supporting the idea that joint attention from nine to fifteen months supports early word learning, there are as of yet, no studies that show children’s ability to learn from child-directed and observed conversations before eighteen months. This would help to see if younger infants benefit from child-directed interactions in the same way older infants do. There are other kinds of evidence however, that show that joint attention is never needed to support infant’s ability to understand other’s communicative intentions through nonverbal cues such as when a third party is pointing to a container on a cabinet (Shneidman & Woodward,

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