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Babies are lip readers!

When babies are learning to speak, they pay attention to their parents' mouths. Developmental psychologists have figured this out. Babies begin to read lips around six months of age. This way they learn how they must form their mouth to produce sounds. When babies are a year old, they can already understand a few words. From this age on they begin to look people in the eyes again. In doing so they get a lot of important information. By looking into their eyes, they can tell if their parents are happy or sad. They get to know the world of feelings in this way. It gets interesting when someone speaks to them in a foreign language. Then babies begin to read lips all over again. In this way they learn how to form foreign sounds as well. Therefore, when you speak with babies you should always look at them. Aside from that, babies need dialogue for their language development. In particular, parents often repeat what babies say. Babies thus receive feedback. That is very important for infants. Then they know that they are understood. This confirmation motivates babies. They continue to have fun learning to speak. So it's not enough to play audiotapes for babies. Studies prove that babies really are able to read lips. In experiments, infants were shown videos without sound. There were both native language and foreign language videos. The babies looked longer at the videos in their own language. They were noticeably more attentive in doing so. But the first words of babies are the same worldwide. "Mum" and "Dad" – easy to say in all languages!

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