Ever Wonder Why…

…children seem to be able to learn a language so quickly?

It’s not just your imagination. Researchers have clearly demonstrated that children can learn a language more quickly than can an adult. Dr. Elissa Newport, Ph.D., demonstrated that the association between the age at which an individual arrived in the United States, and their ability to learn English, was as strongly correlated as were height and weight. In other words, “It’s clear that there is a superiority of children over adults in language learning”, said Newport. Dr. Newport ascribes this superiority to the fact that, when it comes to learning for children, ‘less is more’. A child’s limited perspective forces them to acquire information in small, incremental steps. Because language has many components, learning it in small pieces makes acquisition easier, and this learning begins at a very early age. Dr. David Pisoni of Indiana University has demonstrated that children can recognize their name from other names similar names as early as four months of age. But how early does this learning process begin?

According to Fred J. Schwartz, M.D., “a significant amount of learning takes place in the uterus. There is no doubt that intrauterine auditory stimuli contribute a large part of this environment. Evidence points to the fact that learning extends back into the prenatal period, and that the sounds and rhythms in the womb may contain information important to the development of the fetal brain.2, 3 The newborn can differentiate a recording of his own mother’s prenatal womb sounds from a recording of another mother4.”1

Dr. Schwartz continues, “There is a vast amount of potential information available to the fetus that can be given in the playing of just one musical note or in singing or talking a single syllable. The content of this sound is full of information and emotion5. These communicative processes which take place before and after birth contribute to the promotion of the child’s physical development, behavioral characteristics, and level of intelligence.6 This is consistent with the observation of psychologists that infants and children may have enhanced behavioral abilities that diminish later in life. Since fetal hearing is probably the major component of this learning, the fetus is participating in a 2nd and 3rd trimester auditory amphitheater that is perhaps more important than any other classroom. ” (emphasis added)

In summary, we know that learning begins prenatally. We also know that unborn children and infants are best at acquiring information in small, incremental steps. This is the principle premise behind the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System — the presentation of small, incremental pieces of information, in the only language the prenatal child truly understands, in the most important classroom the child will ever occupy. BabyPlus is the only prenatal enrichment system that is based on these proven, scientific principles.

1. Schwartz, F.J. and Ritchie, R. Music Listening in neonatal Intensive Care Units
2. Devlin, B., Daniels, M., and Roeder, K. The heritability of IQ. Nature, 388, 468-471. 1997.
3. Shetler, D. The inquiry into prenatal musical experience: a report of The Eastman Project 1980-1987. Pre-and Perinatal Psychology Journal 3(3), 171-189. 1989.
4. Righetti, P. The emotional experience of the fetus: a preliminary report. Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 11(1), 55-65. 1996.
5. Schwartz, F. Perinatal stress reduction, music, and medical cost savings. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 12(1), 19-29, 1997.
6. Lipton, B. Nature, nurture, and the power of love. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 13(1), 3-10, 1998.