Washington: Toddlers learn words differently as they grow and there also is a limit as to how many words they can learn each day, says a study.
These findings may help parents enhance their children's vocabularies and assist speech-language professionals in developing and refining interventions to help children with language delays, said the study.
"We found that babies' abilities to accurately guess the meaning of new words increases between 18 and 30 months of age, and by 24 to 36 months, toddlers are able to accurately guess the meanings of new words at a significantly higher level," said Judith Goodman, associate professor at the University of Missouri's school of health professions.
In the study, researchers taught six new words to children, aged between 18 to 36 months, using three types of cues and recorded their ability to guess what the words meant.
"When children were presented with a new word and asked to choose between an item for which they already had a name and an unfamiliar object, they appropriately assigned the new word to the unfamiliar object, and this ability improved as children aged," explained Goodman.
A day after the children learned the six words, the researchers tested whether the children remembered the words.
The children better remembered the first three words they had learned the first day.
Children who are struggling with learning language may benefit from being presented with specific cues.
"At home, parents can name household items or foods the children are eating. If out on an excursion, such as a trip to the zoo, parents can label the animals they see," Goodman concluded.
The study was published in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.