Posts Tagged ‘ language ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Massive Food Fight At Minneapolis High School Turns Into All Out Brawl
A food fight quickly turned into a brawl involving hundreds of students at a Minneapolis high school on Thursday, forcing police to use chemical spray to break up the melee. (via Huffington Post)

Bilingual Babies Know Their Grammar by 7 Months
Babies as young as seven months can distinguish between, and begin to learn, two languages with vastly different grammatical structures, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and Université Paris Descartes. (via Science Daily)

Study Links Smoking Bans to Fewer Pre-term Births
Banning smoking in enclosed public places can lead to lower rates of preterm birth, according to Belgian researchers who say the findings point to health benefits of smoke-free laws even in very early life. (via Reuters)

Boy With Life-threatening Allergies Attends School Remotely, Thanks to New Robot
A 4-foot-tall robot is giving a New York second-grader the chance to go to school. (via Fox News)

Charter Schools Put Parents to the Test
Charter schools pride themselves on asking a lot of their students. Many ask a great deal of parents, too. (via Reuters)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Lee Bright, South Carolina Senator, Proposes High School Gun Class Bill
As the fight continues on whether teachers and school staff should carry weapons, one South Carolina lawmaker is turning the armed attention to students. Republican state Sen. Lee Bright has introduced a new bill that would create a guns and shooting class for the state’s high schoolers, taking one step further National Rifle Association CEO Waayne LaPierre’s assertion that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” (via Huffington Post)

Can Carrots Reduce the Effect of Diabetes-Causing Genes?
In the latest revelation about the human genome, researchers say diabetics with a certain genetic mutation may be able to rely on beta carotene to reduce their symptoms. (via TIME)

Limited Impact on Child Abuse From Visits, Intervention: Study
Home visits and doctor’s office interventions to prevent child abuse appear to have only limited success, with evidence mixed on whether they help at all, according to a U.S. analysis based on ten international studies. (via Reuters)

Education Committee Revs Back Up In 113th Congress
It’s back to school for Congress. Today, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, held his first organizational meeting with the 113th Congress’s iteration of his committee. In his opening remarks, Kline said reauthorizing No Child Left Behind will remain a “top priority.” NCLB, the sweeping law that governs public K-12 education, expired in 2007. (via Huffington Post)

Brain Structure of Infants Predicts Language Skills at One Year
Using a brain-imaging technique that examines the entire infant brain, researchers have found that the anatomy of certain brain areas – the hippocampus and cerebellum – can predict children’s language abilities at 1 year of age. (via Science Daily)

More Children Being Diagnosed with ADHD in Past Decade
White children from high-income homes are most likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, as more children overall are getting a diagnosis of ADHD, according to a study released Monday that looked at hundreds of thousands of California medical records. (via The Wall Street Journal)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Boston Declares Health Emergency Amid U.S. Flu Outbreak
With flu cases in this city up tenfold from last year, the mayor of Boston declared a public health emergency on Wednesday as authorities around the United States scrambled to cope with a rising number of patients. (via Reuters)

Study: Bilinguals Have Faster Brains
Speaking two languages can actually help offset some effects of aging on the brain, a new study has found. (via ABC News)

A Call to Obama to Focus on Early Childhood Education
President Obama will be delivering his State of the Union address outlining his priorities for the next year in a few weeks. Here’s an open letter to Obama urging him to make early childhood education — an initiative that has proven results — a real priority in his second term. (via Washington Post)

Report: NH Preventing Tooth Decay in Children
The latest study shows the compound found in plastic and food packaging can put youngsters at risk for future heart disease. (via Boston News)

Eli Lilly Settles Mass. Pregnancy Drug-Cancer Case
Eli Lilly and Co. has settled a lawsuit brought by four sisters who contended their breast cancer was caused by a drug their mother took during pregnancy in the 1950s, a move some believe could trigger financial settlements in scores of other claims brought by women around the country. (via ABC News)

California Teachers Pension Fund Moves To Divest From Guns, Firearms Companies
The nation’s largest teacher pension fund took the first step Wednesday toward divesting from companies that make guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines that are illegal in California. (via Huffington Post)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

J&J to Remove Harsh Chemicals from Baby Products
Johnson & Johnson plans to remove potentially cancer-causing and other dangerous chemicals from nearly all its adult toiletries and cosmetic products worldwide within 3 1/2 years. (via MSNBC)

Early Anesthesia Tied to Language Problems in Kids
Babies and toddlers who went under anesthesia during surgery ended up having slightly worse scores on language and reasoning tests as 10-year-olds, in a new study. (via Reuters)

Chickenpox Down 80 Percent Since 2000
Signaling the retreat of a childhood rite of passage, the incidence of chickenpox in the United States fell by 80 percent from 2000 to 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week. (via New York Times)

As Circumcision Rates Drop, Costs Increase: Study
As gaps in insurance coverage lead to fewer male babies being circumcised in the United States, related health costs could end up increasing by millions of dollars every year, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)

Cramming May Hurt Kids’ Grades, Study Suggests
High school students who choose to sacrifice their sleep to get extra studying time in may fare worse academically the next day compared with their well-rested peers, new research suggests. (via ABC)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Breast Cancer Charity Overstated Screening Benefits, Researchers Say
Researchers say Susan G. Komen for the Cure overstated the benefit mammograms have on survival rates of women with breast cancer. Komen’s messages stated 98 percent of women who get the screening tests survive at least five years, while 23 percent who do not get mammograms survive that long — a difference of 75 percentage points. (via NBC News)

New Pets May Help Autistic Kids Socially
Getting a pet may help children with autism to develop their social skills, if the furry friend is brought into the home when the child is about 5 years old, according to a new French study. The researchers discovered the children showed improvement in their abilities to share with others and to offer comfort. (via Fox News)

Hidden Dangers in Vitamins & Supplements?
According to a new report in Consumer Reports, vitamins and supplements could do more harm than good in some cases. Between 2007 and mid-April 2012, the FDA received more than 6,300 reports of serious adverse events linked to dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbs. (via CNN)

Disharmony in the Land of Nod
A new study suggests that even moderate levels of household conflict can alter basic brain function in infants, leaving them hypersensitive to negative emotions. Researchers found chronic family conflict made infants more likely to have abnormal brain responses to angry speech. (via Huffington Post)

Chile Bans Marketing of Toys in Children’s Food
A new law in Chile aims to take some fun out of fast-food by forcing McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and other restaurants to stop including toys and other goodies with children’s meals. The complaint also targets makers of cereal, popsicles, and other products that attract children with toys, crayons, or stickers. (via Associated Press)

Speaking Multiple Languages Can Influence Children’s Emotional Development
Researchers are investigating how using different languages to discuss and express emotions in a multilingual family might play an important role in children’s emotional development. They propose the particular language used when discussing and expressing emotion can have significant impacts on children’s emotional understanding, experience, and regulation. (via Science Daily)

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What Happened at School Today? Nothing

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

OnWaytoSchoolMy almost-five-year-old’s transition to a new school–her “big-girl school”–has gone as well as we could have hoped for. She says she likes it, the teacher keeps telling us that Adira is “doing great,” and she doesn’t seem overly exhausted in the evenings, despite a considerably longer school day.

However–not surprising, but still frustrating for us–she utterly refuses to ever tell us anything about what happened during the day, what she did or learned, or who she played with. I know it’s normal, and I try not to push her too hard to spill the beans, and I respect that she wants or needs this space for herself. Occasionally, we get lucky and she volunteers a tidbit about something she learned or relates a story from school.

I thought this impulse was fairly universal. But while dropping her off this morning, I heard a couple of the other parents chatting with the teacher, mentioning all the wonderful things their kids had told them about the school day. It was nice to know they, you know, do stuff during the day, a fact I presumed but had been starting to doubt. Still, annoying to have to hear it third hand. Apprently, some kids do talk about their days to their parents.

One funny thing Adira did tell us about school: There are a lot of children from other countries in her class, and after Day 2, she reported, “I was playing with some kids in the playground, and they were talking, but I didn’t know what they was saying.” We explained to her about foreign languages, and assured her that everyone would get to know each other and learn how to understand each other. She seemed unconvinced and a bit disturbed that they wouldn’t just talk English. As for me, I was just glad to hear something about the school day.

Does anyone have any recommendations on how to get our kids to tell us more about what happens, good or bad, during the day?

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‘Um’ and ‘Uh’ Can Help Toddlers Learn New Words

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Mother talking to toddler girlA new study published in the journal Developmental Science reveals that speech fillers such as “um” and “uh,” also known as language disfluencies, may actually help toddlers’ language development.

The research was conducted at the University of Rochester and studied three groups of children, ages 18 to 30 months, who each sat in front of a monitor that tracked the children’s gazes.  Two images were shown on screen, one image of  a familiar object  and one image of a made-up object.  While a recorded voice said short, fluid sentences about the familiar item first, most infants looked at both images equally.  

When the recorded voice then said, “Look at the, uh…,”  most 2 1/2-year-old toddlers recognized the word stumble and looked at the made-up object, expecting to learn something new.  Kids 2 and under rarely picked up on the word stumble.

Researchers aren’t certain how kids understand these disfluencies–whether they realize “um” and “uh” signify a pause in speech to recall the next word or a pause in speech to introduce new words.

Celeste Kidd, the lead researcher quoted on, noted “We’re not advocating that parents add disfluencies to their speech, but I think it’s nice for them to know that using these verbal pauses is OK — the “uh’s” and “um’s” are informative.”

Read more about the research

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Study: Babies Understand Words the Same Way Adults Do

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

That’s right! It may be time to ditch the baby talk because researchers from the University of California, San Diego have found that babies can actually understand what adults are saying, even if they are too young to speak just yet themselves.

The study, published recently in Cerebral Cortex, observed babies from 12 to 18 months of age as they were exposed to different words and sounds in order to see if they could tell the difference between an actual word and a sound that is similar to how that word sounds.

The next step involved pictures being shown accompanying the words to see if babies understood the meaning of the words. Sometimes the words wouldn’t match the picture, just to see if the babies could understand that it was incorrect. For example, a researcher may show a baby a picture of a ball and say “ball,” then show a picture of a dog and say “cat.” These tests were also given to adults in order to compare brain activity.

The results were impressive. By observing the amplitude of brain activity in the areas known to process word meaning during the tests, researchers found that the babies were capable of detecting a mismatched picture and word in same way as adults.

“Babies are using the same brain mechanisms as adults to access the meaning of words from what is thought to be a mental ‘database’ of meanings, a database which is continually being updated right into adulthood,” said Katherine Travis, a researcher involved in the study as well as co-author from the Department of Neurosciences and Multimodal Imaging Laboratory at UC San Diego.

 Eric Halgren, Ph.D., study leader and professor of radiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine concludes, “our study shows that that the neural machinery used by adults to understand words is already functional when words are first being learned. This basic process seems to embody the process whereby words are understood, as well as the context for learning new words.”

 What do you think of these new findings? Do you ‘baby talk’ to your little one and, if so, will you now speak to your child in a more mature manner?

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