Press Releases

The science of baby talk explained; next in the University of Reading public lecture series – University of Reading

Release Date : 09 February 2007

The developing language of children will be the subject of the next lecture in the hugely popular University of Reading public lecture series. Child psychology expert Dr Graham Schafer will ask thought-provoking questions about how we learn vocabulary from scratch and if this ability is uniquely human – and what our understanding of language learning tell us about the mind. This fascinating subject will be brought to life by Dr Schafer from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences – an expert in infant communication – who will explain how psychologists investigate children's learning of their first words, and what gaps remain in our understanding of language learning. Dr Schafer said: "As parents are aware, although it's often hard to understand what young children are saying, it's particularly tricky to work out what they understand when we talk to them. We've been working on ways to try to see into their little minds—literally. New techniques allow us to image the brain while words are learned. This is giving some insights into questions that have been around for a long time." This is the fifth public lecture of this series, and the lectures are free to attend and no ticket is required; please be aware they are extremely popular and space is limited, so please arrive well in advance and allow plenty of time for parking. Large groups should alert the organiser in advance. Dr Schafer's lecture is to be held on Tuesday February 20 2007, in the Palmer Building at Whiteknights Campus, at 8pm. Each lecture lasts for approximately 40 minutes and afterwards time is allowed so the audience may comment and ask questions, giving a real chance for people to get involved and make the most of their evening. The night seldom ends without some lively questions! The remaining schedule for the University of Reading Public Lecture Series 2007 is: Tuesday 20 February 2007 - Early words - What do they tell us? Dr Graham Schafer, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences Tuesday 6 March 2007 - Living under "totalitarianism" - the Italians and the Mussolini dictatorship Professor Richard Bosworth, School of Humanities All of the University Public Lectures start at 8pm and will be held in the Palmer Building on the University's Whiteknights campus. Lectures are free to attend and no ticket is required. For further information, please visit the public lecture series website or contact Alison Fabian in the University's Communications Office on (tel) 0118 378 7110 or (email) Ends For media enquiries only, please contact Lucy Ferguson, the University's senior press officer on: (Tel) 0118 378 7388 (Email) Notes to Editors: The University of Reading is one of the foremost research-led universities in the UK. Founded in the nineteenth century and gaining a Royal Charter in 1926, we offer a wide range of programmes from the pure and applied sciences to languages, social sciences and fine art. New research and the latest thinking continually feed into undergraduate teaching, with our academic staff working at the forefront of their fields of expertise. For further information visit the University of Reading website visit the University of Reading website


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