Gender and Language Acquisition

Boys and girls tend to use different parts of their brains as they learn new words, according to a study on the role of gender in language development.

When researchers looked at how toddlers acquire new words, they found that while boys and girls end up equally skilled at language, they learn in different ways. Their study focused on word acquisition in young children.

They found that girls learn and acquire words more quickly than boys, but only when the words are phonologically familiar to words they already know. If the words were not familiar, boys and girls learned them at the same rate.


The University of North Carolina Child Development Institute recommends these 9 activities to help infants and toddlers expand their language development skills:

  1. Have conversations with your child.
  2. Describe objects, activities, and events as your child encounters them.
  3. Use a variety of words and grammar when you speak to them.

  4. Name things and events as your child encounters them.
  5. Provide language activities that interest your child.
  6. Read interactive books on a regular basis.
  7. Introduce objects that spark conversation.
  8. Use music to teach language.
  9. Use gestures and simple signs to teach language.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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