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Conversation Critical to Children’s Language Development, New Study Reveal

For years, scientists have been studying the connection between wealth, culture, and how children develop. One of the most important areas of research was the “word gap”; a study in the 1990s found that children from poorer families had heard 30 million fewer words than children that grew up in richer families.

科學家們研究孩童發展與財富、文化間的關聯好多年了。其中,最重要的一個研究區域就是文字斷層(word gap),這個觀念是在1990年代發現,出身較貧窮人家的孩子,比在富貴人家成長的孩子,詞語量少了3千萬。

In 2018, new research at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology taught us even more about the subject. The study, which was published in the magazine JNeurosci this month, showed that parents that talk to their children more at an early age helped them learn new words more quickly than other children their age.

2018年,哈佛大學跟麻省理工學院的一項新研究更深入探究這個議題,這份研究發布在 JNeurosci期刊中,裡頭顯示了,如果家長多跟孩子說話,可以幫助他們比其他同齡的小孩學習新字時更快。

Researchers looked at 40 four-to six-year-old children from different backgrounds and recorded the conversations that they had with their parents over one weekend. The study found that children that talked to their parents more often had a positive effect on the areas of the brain that are responsible for speech.

研究者找了40個4到6歲、不同背景的小孩,記錄他們整個週末跟父母的對話。研究中發現,跟父母對話較多的孩子,腦部負責語言的區塊能有較好的反應。

The study confirms earlier work on the relationship between wealth and children’s development, but it may also be the first step in understanding how strong this connection is.

這項研究確認了先前針對孩童發展與財富的關係,但這項研究可能只是初步告訴我們其中連結有多強。

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