Oh, the lockdowns… Thankfully the last one was more than a year ago (at the time of writing), and although it was challenging being at home so much, it also allowed me to spend much more time with my daughter. In my last two posts, I told you about how my then-one-and-a-half-year-old was starting to understand and produce her first sentences. Now a feisty three-year-old, she is talking nonstop and switching between two languages.
Children are born into a world where technology is all around us. This raises questions about children’s screen time habits, and the effects of screen time on their language development. Research suggests that the content as well as how children view screens are important, and that social interaction during screen time is crucial in helping young children learn from videos.
Dr. Saoradh Favier was a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. She defended her thesis entitled ‘Individual differences in syntactic knowledge and processing: Exploring the role of literacy experience’ on December 10 2020.
The first COVID-19 lockdown in the Netherlands allowed me to take a research detour: Instead of testing adult participants in the lab, I found myself on daily walks, understanding more about how children –my then-20-months-old daughter to be precise– learn language.
The first wave of COVID-19 brought a lockdown upon the Netherlands and tons of uncertainty. At the time of the first lockdown in March 2020, my daughter was about 20 months old and able to create two-word sentences. We went on walks every day which allowed me to experience first-hand what it means to get to grips with understanding language.