(Source: Sheknows.com)

(Source: Sheknows.com)

We get happy tears quite often in the classroom. It’s true. Witnessing firsthand how music can foster emotional connections between a loving caregiver and a child gets us going. Every. Single. Time.

Whether leading a Kindermusik class in activities for toddlers, supporting preschoolers’ early literacy development, or teaching English as a second language, emotional connections matter—and make a difference in early child development.

Toddler’s thrive on “real” conversations

New research shows that responsive interactions and emotional connections are imperative to a toddler’s ability to learn language, including English as a second language. In the study published in the journal of Child Development, 36 two-year-olds learned new words in one of three ways:

  1. Face-to-face conversations with a real person
  2. Video chat, such as FaceTime or Skype, with a real person
  3. Watching a pre-recorded video of an adult teaching another child

With more than 35 years’ in early child development, we were not surprised to see that the pre-recorded video was not the most effective language learning activity for toddlers. Toddlers learned best with live social interactions, whether face-to-face or via video chat. Emotional connections matter!

“The study highlights the importance of responsive interactions for language learning,” explained co-author Kathy Hirsh-Pasek in a press release. “Interactions allow adults and toddlers to respond to each other in a back-and-forth fashion—such as live instruction and the video chats. These types of interactions seem to be central for learning words.”

“The research has important implications for language learning,” Hirsh-Pasek continued. “Children are less likely to learn from videos than from live, back-and-forth responsive interactions with caring adults.”

English language learning that supports emotional connections

ABC English & Me - Teaching English to Children through MusicIn the early childhood development classroom, educators can create connections between teacher and students, parent and child, child and child, and the entire group as a whole. ABC English & Me, our English Language Learners curriculum, uses music to create those emotional connections and foster a healthy learning environment. From the first song at the start of each class, children quickly become engaged in actively learning English.

Plus, we provide materials for families to use together at home. These monthly interactive materials support the classroom learning, while giving parents the tools they need to continue the English language learning at home, through face-to-face interactions together.

Learn more about bringing ABC English & Me and the power of music to your school!


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