ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
CAREGIVING
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
EYE CARE, VISION
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
FITNESS
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
What you need to know about swine flu.
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Countdown to Hair Loss
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
The Unmedicated Mind
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Add your Article

Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills

Parents who engage their young children in conversational give-and-take help their offspring gain a significant leg up in terms of language acquisition, new Dutch research reveals.

The boost to childhood language proficiency appears to be predicated on allowing children to engage in so-called "serious" conversations with their family members -- dialogues that permit them to make meaningful contributions to the subject at hand.

The findings are based on the results of a study that tracked 150 Dutch children aged 3 to 6 for a follow-up period of three years. The children were from a mixture of families of Turkish, Moroccan-Berber, and Dutch backgrounds.

Lead researcher Lotte Henrichs noted that as soon as children start school, they are confronted with a need to follow difficult and sometimes abstract concepts, expressed by their teachers through the routine use of complex sentence structures and summed up by the term "academic language."

By its nature, academic language is part of the normal student-teacher discourse, and has a scientific texture that is typically marked by multiple clauses and conjunctions, Henrichs explained.

The study revealed that parents who encourage their kids to contribute to conversations are preparing their children for gaining a natural proficiency in this particular sort of linguistic skill.

Additionally, parents who read to their children, tell them stories and initiate conversations on interesting subjects also give their kids a head start in being able to acquire the kind of academic language skills they will need throughout their education.

The work was funded by the Dutch Programme Council for Educational Research, part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, based in Den Haag.

SOURCES: Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, news release, May 12, 2010 Published on: May 19, 2010