The World Most Powerful Learning Machine
A BABY’S brain has been called “the most powerful learning machine” and for good reason. An infant enters the world primed to absorb all the sights, sounds, and sensations that surround him.
Above all, the infant is intrigued by other humans
“I Spoke as an Infant”
Parents and pediatricians alike are astounded by a newborn’s ability to learn a language by merely listening to it. Researchers have found that within days, an infant is accustomed to his mother’s voice and prefers it over that of a stranger; within weeks, he can tell the difference between the speech sounds of his parents’ native tongue and those of other languages; and within months, he can sense the junctures between words and thus tell the difference between normal speech and unintelligible sounds.
How does an infant speak? Usually with an outpouring of incoherent babbling. Just noise? Hardly! In her book What’s Going On in There?
Parents respond to their infant’s babbling with animated speech of their own, and this too serves a purpose. Exaggerated speech stimulates the infant to respond. This back-and-forth exchange teaches the infant the rudiments of conversation
Parents of infants are kept quite busy responding to their newborn’s everyday needs. Baby cries, and someone is there to feed him. Baby cries, and someone is there to change him. Baby cries, and someone is there to hold him. Such pampering is appropriate and necessary.
In view of the above, it is only natural if a baby believes that he is at the center of the universe and that adults
At about age two, the bubble does indeed burst as a parent shifts roles from caretaker to instructor. Now the baby becomes aware that his parents are not following his lead; instead, he is being expected to follow theirs. The baby’s monarchy has been overthrown, and he may not take well to the new regime.