The scientists from the U.S., whose work was published in the Child Development journal, claim that teacher’s response is an important factor for teaching languages to young children. They should learn new words in the process of live communication, and not when they are shown a “soulless” video.
As stated in the press release of the Society for Research in Child Development, children can learn to speak by listening to their parents or a nanny, even if the conversation is carried out through the computer screen, but they do not perceive the video tutorials, where no one addresses them directly and no reaction is given in response.
Three dozen children under the age of two years were studying new verbs in three different ways: training with a real person, communicating via a video chat with the teacher, and watching a video, where the same person instructs another child, invisible on the screen.
It turned out that only the first two options worked. The children not only learned the words, but also used the new verbs correctly when some actions were performed by different people. A video recording was not able to increase the children’s vocabulary.
According to co-author of the study, Professor of Psychology Kathy Hirsh-Pasek from Temple University, the study highlights the importance of response in language training. Interactive cooperation must be central to learning new words.