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Why talking to little kids matters | Anne Fernald | TEDxMonterey

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Published on Aug 15, 2014

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. For babies, good conversation is nourishment for the brain. Dr. Anne Fernald is the director of the Language Learning Lab of the Stanford Psychology Department and one of the world's leading experts in infant-directed speech. In her TEDxMonterey talk she explains how the quality of our interactions with infants and young children effects their brain development for life.

Anne Fernald is the Josephine Knotts Knowles Professor of Human Biology at Stanford University. As director of the Language Learning Lab in the Department of Psychology, she conducts experimental studies of language processing by infants and young children, as well as observational studies of parent-infant interaction. Fernald and her research team have developed sensitive measures of the time course of infants’ understanding as they learn to interpret language from moment to moment. In longitudinal studies with English- and Spanish-learning children from advantaged and disadvantaged families, this research reveals the vital role of early language experience in strengthening speech processing efficiency, which in turn facilitates language learning. Fernald is also conducting research in West Africa, examining speech to children in relation to language learning in rural villages in Senegal. A central goal of this research is to help parents understand that they play a crucial role in supporting children’s language growth – providing their infant with early linguistic nutrition and language exercise.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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