How Can Children Learn Language


How do kids learn language?

Video taken from the channel: tvoparents


How to Learn a Foreign Language Like a Child Does!

Video taken from the channel: Days of French ‘n’ Swedish


Learning and Development of Language: The First 5 Years of Life

Video taken from the channel: Sprouts


Can Adults Learn Languages The Same Way That Kids Do?

Video taken from the channel: Langfocus


Why Can’t Adults Learn Languages Like Children?

Video taken from the channel: Tom Scott


How Children Learn Language

Video taken from the channel: NWTLiteracy


How Do Babies Learn Language?

Video taken from the channel: QHat

Adults help children learn language primarily by talking with them. It happens when a mother coos and baby-talks with her child. It happens when a father listens to the fractured, rambling, breathless story of his 3-year-old. It happens when a teacher patiently repeats instructions to an inattentive student.

Learning language is natural and babies are born with the ability to learn it. 1  All children, no matter which language their parents speak, learn a language in the same way. Basic Stages of Language Learning There are three basic stages in which children develop their language skills.

Stage One: Learning Sounds. You may have heard that it is easier and quicker for children to learn languages than it is for adults. You may have heard that it is easier and quicker for children to learn languages than it is for adults. Spanish. English.

German. French. Swahili.

Arabic. Albanian. Persian. Amharic. Malayalam.

Portuguese. Georgian. Wolof. Bengali. Yoruba.

Around the 4thmonth, babies engage in “vocal play” and babbles unintelligible sounds—including those that begin with the letters M, P and B. (This is when mommy swears that she heard baby say “mama.”) 6-12 Months. This is the peek-a-boo stage. Babies pay attention and smile when you call them by name. No.

Children acquire language quickly, easily, and without effort or formal teaching. It happens automatically, whether their parents try to teach them or not. Although parents or other caretakers don’t teach their children to speak, they do perform an important role by talking to their children. Children who are never spoken to will not acquire language.

All animals can communicate, but humans uniquely acquire language and speech skills, says Michael Frank, associate professor of psychology and principal investigator of the Learning and Cognition Lab at Stanford. In this episode of School’s In, Frank talks to GSE Dean Dan Schwartz and Senior Lecturer Denise Pope about his research tracking the emergence of language in children. Language Acquisition as Creation. Although distributional analyses enable children to break into the words and phrases of a language, many higher linguistic functions cannot be acquired with statistics alone. Children must discover the rules that generate an infinite set, with only a finite sample.

Play planning encourages children to practice using language to discuss the play scenario, and to make the roles, props, and actions clear to the other players. It is the time when the teacher can prompt the use of new vocabulary and encourage children to use the literacy elements (pencils, paper, books) that are in the play area. Your child’s key relationships help her learn communication, thinking and problem-solving skills. Your child learns best by being involved in learning, actively engaging with the environment, and trying lots of different activities.

Children go from babbling, starting by about 6 months, to speaking their first words around the age of 1, to forming full sentences by their third year. This process, known as language acquisition, happens with hardly any structured adult guidance.

List of related literature:

As they learn to understand and articulate words, children develop the earliest stages of language.

“Encyclopedia of Education and Human Development” by Stephen J. Farenga, Daniel Ness
from Encyclopedia of Education and Human Development
by Stephen J. Farenga, Daniel Ness
Taylor & Francis, 2015

Even young children develop a strong metalinguistic awareness, for example using knowledge of cognates in related languages to help them remember new vocabulary.

“Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us” by Nicholas Evans
from Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us
by Nicholas Evans
Wiley, 2011

Children learn language through repeated exposure to it.

“Cochlear Implants: Principles & Practices” by John K. Niparko
from Cochlear Implants: Principles & Practices
by John K. Niparko
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009

As children acquire language, they do not do so by simply memorizing lots of sentences.

“21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook” by Stephen F. Davis, William Buskist, Erin Brooke Rasmussen, Steven Randall Lawyer
from 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook
by Stephen F. Davis, William Buskist, et. al.
SAGE Publications, 2008

Learning activities typically involved reading in the target language, translating from the target language into the mother tongue and vice versa, and doing written grammar exercises.

“English Language: Description, Variation and Context” by Jonathan Culpeper, Paul Kerswill, Ruth Wodak, Anthony McEnery, Francis Katamba
from English Language: Description, Variation and Context
by Jonathan Culpeper, Paul Kerswill, et. al.
Macmillan Education UK, 2018

Narrative abilities in monolingual and dual language learning children with specific language impairment.

“Communication Disorders in Multicultural Populations E-Book” by Dolores E. Battle
from Communication Disorders in Multicultural Populations E-Book
by Dolores E. Battle
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012

As children’s experience with language develops, so do their segmentation, word recognition, and pattern recognition skills.

“Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics” by Keith Brown
from Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics
by Keith Brown
Elsevier Science, 2005

Receptive vocabulary differences in monolingual and bilingual children.

“The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism” by Tej K. Bhatia, William C. Ritchie
from The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism
by Tej K. Bhatia, William C. Ritchie
Wiley, 2014

Children learn language by exposure.

“An Introduction to Language” by Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman, Nina Hyams, Mengistu Amberber, Felicity Cox, Rosalind Thornton
from An Introduction to Language
by Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman, et. al.
Cengage Learning Australia, 2017

Through schooled instruction (i.e., learning to read and write) the child’s native language becomes visible and she develops “mastery” (i.e., intentional and conscious use) of its grammatical and phonological properties.

“Vygotsky's Educational Theory in Cultural Context” by Aljaksandr U. Kazulin, Alex Kozulin, Ebooks Corporation, Vladimir S. Ageyev, Boris Gindis, Suzanne M. Miller, John Seely Brown, Christian Heath, Roy Pea
from Vygotsky’s Educational Theory in Cultural Context
by Aljaksandr U. Kazulin, Alex Kozulin, et. al.
Cambridge University Press, 2003

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

View all posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Hey Paul. I have to admit I’m a big fan of your channel and a sucker for you too.
    I’m kinda addicted to your voice and my life seems nonsense if I fail to hear your voice one single day. I burst into laughing when watching this video and thanks a lot for your quality information. Keep up the good work and HAVE A NICE DAY:v

  • This is important! The book, “The Gift of Words: How do children learn to talk,” by Talmage Steele has 12 conversation starters for parents to employ to add more language to the things they already do with their children age 0-5. It doesn’t take more time, it takes more words. A big vocabulary helps a child succeed in school, at work, in life. Schools depend on parents to teach children to talk and to have a big vocabulary when they arrive at school.

  • People I know: How can I learn languages like kids do?

    Me: Be consistent, start from the basics, expose yourself to a lot of media in that language

    People I know: No, kids have magic brains I’ll never get it, because I’m old

  • Thanks. I really like this approach. I’ve been keeping a journal in French using Google translate. I write the English sentence then copy the translation while I listen to it pronounced and repeat that. I write about the woodyard I manage so a lot of repeat phases come up each day. Some days there’s new phases that come in when something out of the norm happens.
    I kept this up for three months each day and I noticed a lot of recognition of the spoken language when I listened to French programs. I do that quite a bit too, for example guitar lessons. Since I know guitar when I listen to a lesson in French the subject is familiar and though I don’t understand everything I pick up on some of it. Thanks.

  • Mexican here, I learned english from videogames and movies almost completely since i never had an english teacher at school until highschool. I’ve never been to the US (or any other country besides my own) and, yet, I grew up and spoke the language to myself almost fluently out of what i could catch from the media I consumed.

  • Our educational system needs to be restructured. Since young kids can learn languages so easily. They should be taught one or two other languages when they start school at 5. That, along with their native language should take up most of their eduational time for the first few years of school. The languages taught at that time should be the most “difficult” languages they would want or need to learn in their lifetimes. When they are older and their language learning ability is not as sharp, they could learn “easier” languages. For instance, an English speaker would learn Chinese, Arabic, or Russian when they are young and Spanish or Italian when older.

  • Welp, glad I could get some validation here about why my kids have speech delays. I spent most of my time too exhaused to talk and too exhausted to take them out to social situations. It seriously annoys me people keep saying “it’s not your fault” when I know it absolutely is. They clearly began to improve once I started reading to them on a regular basis and clearly stagnated when I stopped again. (It’s hard to read when they fight if they’re too close to each other and I’m trying to keep the baby from ripping the pages of a library book!) They’re 3 so I suppose there is still time for them to recover some lost ground. I have a better handle on things now so maybe the baby will have better luck with his language development.

  • I’m a teen Greek but I talk 3 languages and I’m now learning Italian and tbh even tho I have been doing so for a year I feel like I learned absolutely nothing

  • I didn’t talk too much with my kid now he is can I teach him language…as some of the words he don’t understand…and that is the reason he don’t answer

  • I have an interest in this because I’m a native Swede who moved to New Zealand at 10. I only knew basic English but I picked it up in under a month. And I somehow understand most Dutch and German which really confuses me. Also at age 10 I didn’t form an accent which is a whole nother topic.

  • I found this interesting and very informative ��I am technically a child �� and I have been learning irish for a while now. Since 4 years old and only took a interest in irish last Year and it has been easy learning tenses and all the other hard things to learn in the language. But other adults will say its hard. Example I learned the modh coinníollach in like 5 mins and was easy but adults/teenagers have to learn it in school and it’s somehow very hard. �� And that’s because I am a child. So that’s why I want it to be thought right in school so children can learn it with ease

  • Question: what happens to kids when parents speak in their native language but where they live the language is different. Will that cause issues on the little one’s ability to learn in school?

  • It is basically a ridiculous question! Unless you are a professor or school teacher of modern languages, an amateur in languages, etc., then if you’re over say 18 years your chances of learning a new language proficiently is nil! I was not a language major, but one of my French professors in the 1960s, who was in his fifties was teaching himself Russian and admitted he was having great difficulty. In contrast the great mathematician K. F. Gauss who was also a philologist taught himself Russian in his sixties-spoke it and wrote it perfectly in the 1840s.
    The brain is like clay pottery. At first it is soft, pliable and malleable. After time it hardens and takes its permanent shape!
    Also you generally can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

  • To be honest, I am 14 and am fluent in 3 languages. Czech (my mother tongue) English (my primary language as I go to school in UK) and German. (:

  • as a side note, if i hadnt lived in england as a kid (im german), i wouldnt have got the head start with programming, internet etc etc. and i surely couldnt listen to english youtube videos at 2x speed (havent tried this one). this is more valuable than every education i ever got.

  • I am a native Dutch speaker from the Netherlands. I’ve taught myself English by watching British and American shows and YouTube videos from age 10, and later started reading English books. I’ve always found it weird how I could learn English without school so easily, but struggle with learning languages now.

  • I’m so glad to hear that from someone else! Most of the people awfully misguided by adds of language courses like this “fluent in 3 months!” It’s just a trick because no one would go at honest courses saying “speak like a 3yr-old in 6 months, ok but with notable mistakes in 5 years, fluent as hell in 10-15”. Because of that many people believe it is possible to learn a foreign language in all its depth in one year. People are so used to their fluency in their native language they find it hard to look around and see that it actually takes about 15 to 20 years to fresh born people to master a language. Yes, just like that. Teenagers aren’t very good speakers really.

  • YOU ARE CUTE ��❤️��
    DEAR TEACHER! ����������������⚱️ARAMAIC
    & HILBREU! ⚱️⚰️⚱️⚰️
    SONGWRITERS ARE! ⚱️⚰️������������������������!⚱️⚰️������������������������⚰️⚱️

  • As a developmental psychologist, and a learner of foreign languages, this is an interesting view that never occurred to me.
    (Although, I would add to you point, that most of what children do from birth helps their language learning not just from 2 as the non-verbal communication cues they get from others, helps them learn to respond, and adults talking to them, greatly helps their vocabulary later on).

  • im a native portuguese speaker, live at brazil and never moved out, yet when i was 6, i found myself understanding a few english words (probably from the games i used to play), and then when i was about 8 or 9, everything just clicked and i suddenly started to understand english, im currently 12 and most of the time i think and speak in english to myself yet i dont get why, do you have any idea why so?

  • I totally agree with learning all the words you can without caring about what they are! I’ve had Japanese people tell me “Oh we don’t use that, you don’t have to learn it” or “that’s something that they only use in anime, you don’t need to learn it” more times that I can count. To which my reply would be “Do you, as a native speaker, know what it means?” “Yes, but…” “Then I’m learning it”. Even if it’s anime word or ancient Japanese or a dialect, if it is used in the animes, series or books I’m watching or reading then I’m sure as hell gonna need it. I’ve also had people tell me “Oh, nobody says that” and then almost immediately hear another native speaker saying that very same thing. As for watching the same series or videos over and over again that is something I like to do and I can attest to its effectiveness. I’ve watched some complete series in Japanese or French so many times that I can basically repeat the dialogues as I watch and it helped me a lot with speaking. Also, every time I rewatch/reread something I always discover new words or expressions I didn’t really notice the first time around

  • This is a great video!!! As a language educator, I value the importance of reading. Check out our version of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” told in a bilingual way (Spanish/English). thanks!:)

  • Im 15 and I watch Chinese children shows with my little sisters who are 3 and 4. Its like they repeat the words they like. It’s entertaining to be honest

  • I’m multilingual (Swedish, Finnish and English) and started learning all three languages very young, Swedish being my native language. I picked up some basic Spanish by the end of elementary school during a hobby club, and that stuck with me way better than the German and French I studied later on in upper secondary school and uni:D

  • when I was a kid, I could only speak 2 languages. Nowadays, as an adult, I have learned several more. At 31, I am fluent in 4, advanced in 3 more and recently picked up 2 other ones. It has become more interesting for me over years.

  • This is fantastic. This lady knows an awful lot. I dont have a baby but this is useful for a project i am working on thank goodness there are people like her in the world!

  • I went from 0 to fluent in French within about a year of moving to Quebec. Just by being around it constantly. I can’t think in French though so it all has to be translated going both ways so I’m not very fast.

  • A very interesting topic, thank you. I think that he can definitely catch up, but it will be hard and will only get harder as he gets older. By the time he realises that he has some catching up to do it might be too late. A good teacher would see that he needs help and may help him.

  • I started learning english from yt videos at the age of 4-5, and i was speaking fluenty at the age of 7. My native language is Portuguese and i’m 9yo as i write this comment.

  • One year? My son after 6 weeks in kindergarten started to speak German.His younger sister needed about 4 weeks.Ok it was a level of 3 yo

  • I been using tv and music to learn German i was able to pick up a few words here and their. But i’m gonna keep at it as it seems easier for me to learn a new language by listening to the language for about 2 hours a day.

  • Let’s not forget about “Motherese”, the kind of simplified language mothers use to help kids understand. Adults do not have that either.

  • I am from Nigeria one of your fan I like to learn English more than my native language I was always trying but my improve ment is very slow

  • adults can most certainly learn a language faster than kids. But why will they?
    it’s alot of effort and require alot of motivation and if you’re not practising actively the language or it’s a requirement to make your life easier.

  • Learning is so much easier for me as an adult than it was when I was a child… that is because child’s ability to memorize falls short due the lack of ability to internalize and contextualize. Basically, youth’s potential is wasted on the least relevant part memorization.

  • Don’t children learn more than just language? They learn the world with it. Adult learning language is trying to associating new language with known things. My native language is Mandarin but I learned physics in English, and it is easier for me to speak and think in English when it comes to physics -related fields. However When it comes materials I already know before I started learning in English (for example math) I am still faster and more comfortable in my native language. Maybe learning language is difficult to adults because it is no acquire NEW knowledge but memorizing phrases.

  • I have a baby, turning 3 months end of this march. I really want to teach her english but the environment might be not supporting as our native language is bahasa. And im not really fluent in english too. Should i just cry then?

  • I am researching language models for Artificial Intelligence. Do you think it should be tackled the way adults learn or the way children learn (the latter suggesting tabula rasa requirements which difficult to implement)?

  • On this moment, I’m learning the Russian language and every day I watch some Russian Miffy on Youtube. It’s really fun. Especially when you recognize more and more words.

  • i can talk 2 arabics “fous7a” and “darija”, can talking french, english too and also berber. I have learned english completly just recently and i’m studying it since i was 9 years old, the 2 arabics and french since i was very young when i learned them. Berber also recently by concentrating my brain to my mum and dad that are always talking berber at home but that i’m stupid that i couldn’t learn it since my childhood (i can understand berber since i was young, just understanding) have finnaly determination to learn, because corona

  • i learn really well through memory and situations. e.g I ll never ever forget the word « socket » bc my irish friend asked me: is there a socket close by » while having her charger in her hand, so i figured: oh so socket means « steckdose » a bit later i learnt « prise » (the french word) bc i was at the same environment and someone asked it in french and i think children learn tje same way, through context, seeing the things, that are meant and relation. they will (probably unconsciously) learn the word, bc his mom said it to them and they know she loved them.  that’s probably a important factor we don’t take into account yet.

  • I actually learnt English that way, it’s been a few years I’m listening English things on internet, last year, in England I discovered that I could discuss fluently with English-speakers.
    But it sadly doesn’t work with Japanese, so I had to learn vocabulary everyday to be able to speak.

  • When I was at school and being taught French I was told I had no skill at languages but then I lived in Spain in my 30s and picked up Spanish in two years. Necessity and immersion did it for me.

  • I love that you folks present an argument, and then explore other possibilities. It’s a strong premise and I think it has merit, especially in a society that values language so much. I do think that Pete would certainly compensate in unexpected ways. For what he may lack in solidifying the depth of his language abilities, he may end up strengthening non verbal communication skills. Perhaps a stronger reliance on facial recognition and even possibly empathy to make up for it?

    Yeah it’s all speculation, but I think above all else, children will naturally explore their world. Peters going to learn SOMETHING.

  • This is true. My native language is spanish and I’ve had to learn english in school since I was like between 9 and 12 years old. My parents also made me attend some special cambridge english classes and take many exams for 8 years, more or less. Let me tell you, I HATED it! And I never became fluent, it was so hard. However, one day I decided I wanted to try to watch some english youtube videos (Pewdiepie’s videos, since it was popular at the time, haha) and, even though I could barely understand what was being said, I enjoyed it. It was really fun and I learned so much more than what I was taugh in class! Watching someone play a videogame while commenting what they were seeing or how they were feeling helped my brain understand phrases and expressions like if it was my native language, so many things that have inaccurate translations or are non existent in spanish! In conclusion, I didn’t learn to speak english, I learned to think in english:) (Even though I still make silly mistakes here and there, I can at least understand perfectly when someone speaks and communicate pretty well)

  • The whole premise is wrong. Adults can learn languages extremely efficiently, sometimes in 2 years or less. Children don’t speak very proficiently until age 5 or later

  • Most language learning programs probably market “learning like kids” to capitalize on the ease of learning when you’re a kid. Most of us don’t remember acquiring language skills as infants, and thus it was relatively painless. Unless you were sent to weekend school like me to learn reading and writing.

  • I’m not sure I buy the premise of the title. I believe that if an adult is placed in a foreign country and only ever is able to hear or make themselves understood in the language of that country, they’ll learn it quite quickly. But most people don’t get as much exposure to the language they’re trying to learn, nor are they treated like children in their learning.

  • I have a cousin her dad is Jamaican and her mom is Haitian she speak Jamaican Patois, English,French and creole she only 8 yrs old!!! I don’t know how she get those languages.

  • I clicked out of this video when you mentioned left brain and right brain. you that stuff is completly wrong, and has been proven wrong, right?

  • Speaking childishly is cute, unfortunately nobody will ever take you seriously otherwise the men whom you shall talk to will be annoyed by your speaking way (I could have spoke easier but I don’t care about your judgments)

  • When talking about kids it’s not just about memorizing. They somehow understand the logic of the language and because of that, create words that might not even exist but logically they are correct. It’s very visible with agglutinating languages, they build up the word based on an other noun or verb, and it sounds funny because there are exceptions and different ways to do that, works with a certain root word but does not with another yet the construction is perfect. So even 2-3 years old kids have some capability of using the grammar, they aren’t always just repeating the proper words that they hear in a certain situation.

  • @ 2:31 The keyword is similarly.
    @ 4:52 I only want to be taken seriously by people who take thinking seriously.:)
    @ 7:18 I only care about results. If starting with grammar slows your progress down, I won’t start with grammar.:)

  • Good faith question:

    You’ve never struck me as someone who copies from other people’s work so I’m not accusing you of anything here. But I had this video recommended to me after watching a Tom Scott video on the same topic and with a very similar title that was posted just a couple of weeks before this one. (I am also subscribed to both of your channels.) So I wonder if it is a pure coincidence that you posted a video on the same topic (and with similar content as Tom) just a couple of weeks after he posted his video or if it was more a case you wanting to make a video on this topic be it because you were inspired by Tom’s video or because you had the idea for your video independently from his video but became at some point during producing this video here aware of his and then using some of Tom’s points with his permission. (Sorry for the weird and convoluted sentence…) I get that the video title makes sense for both of your videos given the topic and that even identical video titles can easily happen. And I get that of course both of your videos can’t be very different from each other because then they’d not be on the same topic anymore. I am also aware of there being a limited amount of good (primary) sources out there and that two people who make a video on the same specific topic will very likely at least come across the same literature etc. while researching for their respective videos.

    Again, I mean this as a good faith question and would also understand it if you wanted to delete my comment here if you on the one hand didn’t do anything that comes even remotely close to plagiarism but on the other hand know that there are people out there who will very publicly accuse you of plagiarism of the highest order after reading a comment like mine.

  • Thanks for that type! Advice… i have a question. what is best way to improve my Maroccoan Arabic? which methodes should i do to learn a language soon as possible. thanks!

  • It’s cool to hear that my habits with music are actually pretty good for learning! I just thought it was good for combating my auditory processing issues (apparently it’s an ADD/ADHD problem) which makes it hard to understand words at times. I’ve been listening to Japanese music for years but in the last three or so months since I picked up German I can hear a lot of words even if I don’t know them.