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Child Dev. 2014 May-Jun;85(3):956-970. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12166. Epub 2013 Sep 23.

Skype me! Socially contingent interactions help toddlers learn language.

Author information

1
University of Washington.
2
Temple University.
3
University of Delaware.

Abstract

Language learning takes place in the context of social interactions, yet the mechanisms that render social interactions useful for learning language remain unclear. This study focuses on whether social contingency might support word learning. Toddlers aged 24-30 months (N = 36) were exposed to novel verbs in one of three conditions: live interaction training, socially contingent video training over video chat, and noncontingent video training (yoked video). Results suggest that children only learned novel verbs in socially contingent interactions (live interactions and video chat). This study highlights the importance of social contingency in interactions for language learning and informs the literature on learning through screen media as the first study to examine word learning through video chat technology.

PMID:
24112079
PMCID:
PMC3962808
DOI:
10.1111/cdev.12166
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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