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每日英語跟讀 Ep.938: New Thoughts on Math Of Effective Baby Talk 與幼兒溝通 品質重於字彙量

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.938: New Thoughts on Math Of Effective Baby Talk

It has been nearly 20 years since a landmark education study found that, by age 3, children from low-income families have heard 30 million fewer words than more affluent children, putting them at an educational disadvantage before they have begun school.

將近20年前,一項具有里程碑意義的教育研究發現,低收入戶兒童到了3歲時,已比家庭較富裕的兒童少聽到3000萬個字彙,以致就學前即已處於教育上的劣勢。

Now, a growing body of research is challenging the notion that merely exposing poor children to more language is enough to overcome the deficits they face. The quality of the communication between children and their parents and caregivers, the researchers say, is of much greater importance than the number of words a child hears.

如今,越來越多的研究向此一觀念提出挑戰,不認為光是讓貧窮兒童暴露於更多語言,就能克服他們所面對的不足。這些研究人員指出,兒童與父母及看顧者之間的溝通品質,遠比兒童聽到多少字彙來得重要。

A study presented last month at a White House conference on “bridging the word gap” found that among 2-year-olds from low-income families, quality interactions involving words — the use of shared symbols (“Look, a dog!”); rituals (“Want a bottle after your bath?”); and conversational fluency (“Yes, that is a bus!”) — were a far better predictor of language skills at age 3 than any other factor .

上月在白宮「縮小字彙差距」會議中發表的一項研究結果發現,對2歲的低收入戶兒童而言,和字彙相關的優質互動,例如使用共通的符號(「看哪,一隻狗!」);固定程序(「洗完澡想喝瓶奶?」);流暢的對話(「是的,這是一輛公車!」),在預測3歲兒童語言技巧方面,是遠勝於其他因素的更好指標。

“It’s not just about shoving words in,” said Kathryn Hirsh- Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia and lead author of the study. “It’s about having these fluid conversations around shared rituals and objects, like pretending to have morning coffee together or using the banana as a phone. ”

費城天普大學心理學教授、該研究報告主要作者凱瑟琳.赫許─巴塞克說:「它不光是塞進字彙而已,它與圍繞著共有的固定程序和物件的流暢對話有關,例如佯裝一起喝晨間咖啡,或是拿香蕉當電話打。」

In a related finding, published in April, researchers who observed 11- and 14-month-old children in their homes found that the prevalence of one-on-one interactions and frequent use of parentese — the slow, highpitched voice commonly used for talking to babies — were reliable predictors of language ability at age 2. The total number of words had no correlation with future ability.

四月發表的一項相關研究中,研究人員觀察11個月和14個月大孩子在家中的生活情形,發現經常一對一互動,以及頻繁使用「父母語」,也就是父母常用的,對嬰兒說話的那種緩慢、高音調聲音,是2歲兒童語言能力的可靠預測指標。字彙的總數量與兒童的未來能力無關。

Even the 1995 study that introduced the notion of the 30-million- word gap, conducted by the University of Kansas psychologists Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley, found that parental tone, responsiveness and use of symbols affected a child’s I.Q. and vocabulary.

引進3000萬字彙差距概念的那項研究發表於1995年,由堪薩斯大學心理學家貝蒂.哈特和陶德.R.里斯利所完成,即使那項研究也發現,父母的語氣、反應和符號的使用,對兒童的智商高低和詞彙多寡均有影響。

But this year’s studies are the first time researchers have compared the impact of word quantity with quality of communication.

不過,今年的研究,是研究人員首次將字彙數量和溝通品質的影響作比較。

For the new study, Dr. Hirsh- Pasek and colleagues selected 60 low-income 3-year-olds with varying degrees of language proficiency from a long-term study of 1,300 children from birth to age 15.

在新研究中,赫許─巴塞克和同事,在參與一項從出生到15歲長期研究的1300名兒童中,挑選出60名3歲的低收入戶兒童,語言能力程度各不相同。

The quality of communication accounted for 27 percent of variation in expressive language skills one year later, Dr. Hirsh-Pasek said.

赫許─巴塞克說,1年後,優質溝通占表達語言技巧差異的27%。

But those who urge parents to talk to their children more say increased quantity of language inevitably leads to better quality.

但是,那些呼籲家長多跟自己孩子說話的專家表示,提高語言數量,定會帶來更高的品質。

Anne Fernald, a developmental psychologist at Stanford University in California, said, “When you learn to talk more, you tend to speak in more diverse ways and elaborate more, and that helps the child’s cognitive development.”

加州史丹福大學發展心理學家安妮.費納德說:「當你學會說得更多時,你會以更多樣、更複雜的方式說話,這有助兒童的認知發展。」

Still, Ann O’Leary, director of Too Small to Fail, a joint effort of the nonprofit Next Generation and the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation that focuses on closing the word gap, acknowledged that messages to parents could do more to emphasize quality.

「小到不能失敗」計畫負責人安.奧利里說,在提供給家長的訊息上,確實可多強調質。「小到不能失敗」由非營利組織「下一代」和「比爾、希拉蕊、雀兒喜.柯林頓基金會」共同設置,致力於縮小兒童字彙差距。

“When we’re doing these campaigns to close the word gap, they do capture the imagination, they do get people understanding that we do need to do a lot more talking,” she said. “But we also need to be more mindful that part of what we need to do is model what that talking looks like.”

她說:「當我們從事縮小兒童字彙差距努力時,它確實引起我們注意,它也讓人們理解,我們確實需要多說點話。但我們同時需要更注意的是,在我們必須從事的工作中,有一部分是提供那種談話的模範,那種談話中該有的東西。」

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/269227/web/#2L-5280944L

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