NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ778843
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0009-3920
How Toddlers and Preschoolers Learn to Uniquely Identify Referents for Others: A Training Study
Matthews, Danielle; Lieven, Elena; Tomasello, Michael
Child Development, v78 n6 p1744-1759 Nov-Dec 2007
This training study investigates how children learn to refer to things unambiguously. Two hundred twenty-four children aged 2.6, 3.6, and 4.6 years were pre- and post-tested for their ability to request stickers from a dense array. Between test sessions, children were assigned to a training condition in which they (a) asked for stickers from an adult, (b) responded to an adult's requests for stickers, (c) observed 1 adult ask another for stickers, or (d) heard model descriptions of stickers. All conditions yielded improvements in referring strategies, with condition (a) being most effective. Four-year-olds additionally demonstrated learning effects in a transfer task. These results suggest that young children's communication skills develop best in response to feedback about their own attempts at reference. [This research was supported by the Max Planck Institution for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.]
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A