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      Skype me! Socially contingent interactions help toddlers learn language.

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          Abstract

          Language learning takes place in the context of social interactions, yet the mechanisms that render social interactions useful for learning language remain unclear. This study focuses on whether social contingency might support word learning. Toddlers aged 24-30 months (N = 36) were exposed to novel verbs in one of three conditions: live interaction training, socially contingent video training over video chat, and noncontingent video training (yoked video). Results suggest that children only learned novel verbs in socially contingent interactions (live interactions and video chat). This study highlights the importance of social contingency in interactions for language learning and informs the literature on learning through screen media as the first study to examine word learning through video chat technology.

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          Most cited references 44

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          Preschoolers mistrust ignorant and inaccurate speakers.

          Being able to evaluate the accuracy of an informant is essential to communication. Three experiments explored preschoolers' (N=119) understanding that, in cases of conflict, information from reliable informants is preferable to information from unreliable informants. In Experiment 1, children were presented with previously accurate and inaccurate informants who presented conflicting names for novel objects. 4-year-olds-but not 3-year-olds-predicted whether an informant would be accurate in the future, sought, and endorsed information from the accurate over the inaccurate informant. In Experiment 2, both age groups displayed trust in knowledgeable over ignorant speakers. In Experiment 3, children extended selective trust when learning both verbal and nonverbal information. These experiments demonstrate that preschoolers have a key strategy for assessing the reliability of information.
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            Television and Very Young Children

             D Anderson (2005)
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              Rapid change in the symbolic functioning of very young children.

               Judy DeLoache (1987)
              A remarkable difference in the understanding of the symbolic relation between a scale model and the larger space that it represented was displayed by two age groups of young children. Three-year-old children who observed an object being hidden in a model knew where to find an analogous object hidden in the corresponding location in a room, but 2.5-year-old children did not. The success of the group of older children reveals an advance in their cognitive flexibility: they think of a model in two ways at the same time--both as the thing itself and as a symbol for something else.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Child Dev
                Child development
                1467-8624
                0009-3920
                : 85
                : 3
                Affiliations
                [1 ] University of Washington.
                Article
                NIHMS515593
                10.1111/cdev.12166
                24112079
                © 2013 The Authors. Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

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