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Thursday 24th May 2018

Language link to 'bubble blowing'

30th June 2006

Infants who can blow bubbles and lick their lips are more likely to pick up language quickly, research suggests.

A Lancaster University study of 120 toddlers found the ability to perform complex mouth movements was strongly linked with language development.

In a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Dr Katie Alcock, lecturer in psychology at Lancaster University, carried out a series of tests to identify skills that might predict a child's ability to develop language.

As well as oral motor skills, Dr Alcock found that hand gestures such as waving or making shapes were associated with better language development but other movements such as walking and running were not.

Her team also found the ability to pretend that one object was another object - such as pretending a wooden block is a car or hairbrush - was associated with better language skills.

The findings could help experts identify children who may struggle with language skills at an early stage.


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