Baby talk! Isn’t it great?
Among the milestones we parents mark are the ways in which our children learned words, and then strung them together into sentences. Parents record the first word a child says. Many parents even save some of the precious pronunciations a child makes. We still joke about our daughter saying CHIK-UMP for chipmunk. Somehow, it seemed like a suitable renaming.
A few years ago, I entertained the thought of pursuing a doctoral degree. We live near a campus of the Penn State University, which offers a doctoral program in adult education. Now, while I didn’t actually enroll in classes, I started to generate ideas for a possible dissertation topic. And I came up with one.
I have been fascinated with the way we teach children language by reading or saying nursery rhymes to them. Many of these rhymes are silly and sometimes nonsensical. But they do help teach language by repetition, alliteration, rhyming. So the topic I had in mind was to evaluate the correlation between exposure to nursery rhymes and language acquisition. Of course, I did not get to a stage of collecting data, so I don’t know if there is a statistically valid correlation. It stands to reason that the more culturally rich a child’s environs are when she is learning to speak, the quicker her language skills will develop.
For now, my hypothesis about nursery rhymes playing a critical part in language development will have to go unresearched, but maybe I can do a mini-experiment. You can bet that I plan to get our granddaughter some edition of Mother Goose Nursery rhymes. And, that I will most certainly read them aloud to her every chance I get.
Can’t wait to hear more baby talk.