Teaching your baby math and science

Yes, babies can get a kickstart in learning — we talked to Dr Robert C Titzer, who has conducted published research on baby learning.


What are your views on bilingualism? How best should children learn more than one language?

If the parents are fluent in English and Mandarin, then they should speak both languages; [however] parents should speak in complete thoughts in each language and try to avoid mixing the two languages within a sentence or thought.

          Parents can use videos or other resources to supplement their own efforts to teach the languages. For example, our videos have more than 10,000 spoken words in the sentences. This can help the child to hear native speakers using proper grammar to learn language skills.  

          And a recent study shows that bilingual infants learn just as many patterns in English as monolingual infants who only learn English [to address fears that learning a second language might “cut” learning in the first language].  

 Is there a specific age window in which or from which babies learn best? How do we know that they are learning?

It depends on what is being learned. For language skills, earlier is generally better; The window of opportunity for learning language skills is often thought to be from about birth to about age 4.

          [We know they are learning because] infant researchers have devised numerous tests to determine if babies have learned. For example, in studies, we can check infants’ looking times to determine if they can differentiate objects or events. Parents are often very good at determining if their babies have learned something.  

 Children often have short attention spans for learning tasks in front of them. How can parents work around this issue?

If the task is interesting for the child, then the child can have a very long attention span. Learning should be fun and engaging for the child. If the child is doing some type of boring worksheet, then the child may quickly become bored. Parents can solve the problem by finding more entertaining and engaging educational materials.

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