If elementary college youngsters are accustomed to many regional and foreign accents due to the fact they listen to them routinely in their linguistic atmosphere, then it is a lot easier for them to find out new text from other small children who speak with unfamiliar accents. This is revealed by the analysis results of Assistant Prof. Dr. Adriana Hanulíková and Helena Levy from the German Office at the University of Freiburg. “In contrast to preceding scientific tests, it is not bilingual children who automatically perform much better in vocabulary acquisition, but small children who are exposed to assorted accents most routinely,” explains Hanulíková, assistant professor of language and cognition. For their research, the two linguists made a novel virtual and game-dependent structure. Their results lately appeared in the journal Language Understanding.

Card match “Spot It!” as the foundation


Until finally now, there was a absence of scientific tests on the influence of regional and foreign accents on kid’s understanding of new phrases.”


Assistant Prof. Dr. Adriana Hanulíková


To fill this gap, the scientists experienced 88 Freiburg youngsters aged 7 to eleven perform a laptop video game based on the common card sport “Place It!”, which is regarded as “Dobble” in Germany. In the video game, two identical objects on various actively playing playing cards have to be found and named as speedily as feasible. For the review, the little ones played the game on the computer with virtual peers. They spoke both typical German or German with a Swiss or Hebrew accent. The recreation included six conditions that are typically mysterious to small children of elementary faculty age.

Regional accents assistance

All 88 kids who participated in the study have been German speakers, some of them bilingual or multilingual. The researchers also requested how typically for every 7 days each boy or girl hears regional and international accents. The evaluation of the experiment confirmed that the kids benefited from lengthy-expression working experience with different accents: little ones with this experience discovered it simpler to understand unfamiliar words from other young children who spoke unfamiliar accents in this virtual match scenario.

This effect happened particularly when children heard both regional and overseas accents in their day by day everyday living. Whilst knowledge with regional accents alone also predicted mastering, children who experienced practical experience with overseas accents showed, at minimum in tendency, related results. Bilingualism had no corresponding effect.

Experiment resembles pure mastering

More scientific studies are thus essential to investigate in much more element what type of expertise in children’s vocabulary acquisition qualified prospects to which consequences – and how these might differ from the finding out of new phrases by adults, claims Hanulíková. The study’s recently produced, sport-dependent style and design is a especially suited device for this goal, she claims. “The children understand from other little ones whilst taking part in, not from adults, the latter remaining the concentration of pretty much all scientific studies to date. In addition, little ones are essential to say and use these words in conversation, not to just passively recognize them. In this way, the experimental structure resembles natural mastering in every day lifestyle.”


Journal reference:

Levy, H & Hanulíková, A., (2022) Spot It and Discover It! Phrase Finding out in Digital Peer-Team Interactions Utilizing a Novel Paradigm for School-Aged Youngsters. Language Learning. doi.org/10.1111/lang.12520.


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