Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies
Daughters of my cousin taught me a great lesson. My cousin with her family has moved to Holland for a year. At that time Eliska was 5 years old and Julinka 3 years old. I visit them 2 month later and girls already was speaking dutch. Was amazing see them watching cartoons turn to me so naturaly and ask me something in dutch as if they thought I spoke the same language or see them so naturally speak with neighbors.
Can you learn a foreign language as an adult? Yes, but with much more difficulty as an infant can.
Babies are born with 100 billion neurons, about the same as the number of stars in the Milky Way.
Babies all over the world are what I like to describe as "citizens of the world". They can distinguish sounds from languages around the world even if they've never heard them before. By the end of the first year of life however they become language specialists and the ability to attend to sounds from foreign languages greatly diminishes as their native language abilities significantly increase.
exposing babies to a variety of positive experiences (such as talking, cuddling, reading, singing, and playing in different environments) not only helps tune babies in to the language of their culture, but it also builds a foundation for developing the attention, cognition, memory, social-emotional, language and literacy, and sensory and motor skills that will help them reach their potential later on.
Please watch the video from TED with Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies to know more