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Word Learning Rules in Children

Word Learning Rules in Children

Book Title

Essays in Developmental Psychology


Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


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The ability to learn new words requires the use of numerous cognitive functions. It is expected that from the time a child begins speaking around 12 months of age to about six years old, children learn approximately 14,000 words (Templin, 1957 as cited in Brady & Goodman, 2014). From an early age, children are exposed to the language used around them and slowly develop their own use of language through recognition of objects, combination of phonemes, and memorization of visual and auditory stimuli. In order to successfully master language and learn new words, a child must integrate these processes to not only develop a word, but also understand its meaning and store it in long term memory. This is, in part, accomplished through the phonological loop, which identifies the connection between the stored phonological information as well as the visual, auditory and somatosensory stimuli with which it is associated.


auditory stimuli, children, cognitive function, language mastery, new words, phonemes, phonological loop, somatosensory stimuli, visual stimuli

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This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.

Word Learning Rules in Children