ERIC Number: EJ1119265
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Learning in Complex Environments: The Effects of Background Speech on Early Word Learning
McMillan, Brianna T. M.; Saffran, Jenny R.
Child Development, v87 n6 p1841-1855 Nov-Dec 2016
Although most studies of language learning take place in quiet laboratory settings, everyday language learning occurs under noisy conditions. The current research investigated the effects of background speech on word learning. Both younger (22- to 24-month-olds; n = 40) and older (28- to 30-month-olds; n = 40) toddlers successfully learned novel label-object pairings when target speech was 10 dB louder than background speech but not when the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was 5 dB. Toddlers (28- to 30-month-olds; n = 26) successfully learned novel words with a 5-dB SNR when they initially heard the labels embedded in fluent speech without background noise, before they were mapped to objects. The results point to both challenges and protective factors that may impact language learning in complex auditory environments.
Descriptors: Language Acquisition, Vocabulary, Age Differences, Toddlers, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Interference (Learning), Acoustics, Speech Communication, English, Language Skills, Measures (Individuals), Auditory Stimuli, Visual Stimuli, Video Technology, Coding
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory
Grant or Contract Numbers: T32HD049899; R37HD037466; P30HD03352