Curiosity-based learning and later language outcomes

As babies and toddlers learn language, they also learn to crawl, walk, explore and play. As children’s bodies develop, they actively engage with their world and independently choose what to learn from. The vast majority of what children learn is via this curiosity-based exploration.

Surprisingly, though, the relationship between curiosity-driven learning and language development is currently not well understood. For example, do more curious babies learn more words, and do toddlers with higher vocabularies play with objects in a particular way?

In this work package we will answer these questions using existing videos from the LuCiD Language 0-5 Project, which show babies and parents playing with toys together at home. We will record the actions that babies perform; for example, do they bang their toys together? If so, how often? We will then associate these measures with their vocabulary size to establish for the first time the relationship between early curiosity-driven play and language development.

Project Team: Sam Durrant, Julian Pine, Katie Twomey (Lead) and Gert Westermann

Duration: 3 years, starting 1 January 2020

Project Number: 3.1