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March 03, 2020 Tuesday 09:53:53 AM IST

'Parentese' and Baby’s Language Skills

Parent Interventions

Use of 'parentese' an exaggerated speaking style that draws the baby's attention is helpful in improving the conversational and language skills of babies, according to a study published by the University of Washington (UW) researchers in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study observed that parents who participated in individual coaching sessions used ‘parentese’ more often than control-group parents who were not coached, and that coaching produced more parent-child 'conversational turns' . This was helpful in improving the child's language skills at a later stage. ‘Parentese’ is a way of communicating with simple grammar and the use of exaggerated sounds. "We now think ‘parentese’ works because it's a social hook for the baby brain -- its high pitch and slower tempo are socially engaging and invite the baby to respond," according to Patricia Kuhl, I-LABS co-director and professor of speech and hearing sciences at UW.