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Jacqueline Woolley, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Conceptual Supports for Early Word Learning

Mon, March 17, 2014 • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM • SEA Library, 4.244

Speaker: Amy E. Booth, Ph.D., Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University

Most children are phenomenal word learners by the time they enter preschool. There is no question that this level of success is supported by children’s remarkable basic information processing capabilities. Of considerable debate, however, have been the types of information that enter into these processes. In particular, recent theoretical accounts have forcefully questioned the contribution of conceptual information to early word learning. In this talk, I review evidence that conceptual information contributes to early word learning in a number of key ways, supporting referent identification, as well as label extension and retention. Special attention will be paid to why teaching children about the causal properties of labeled objects might facilitate their acquisition of new vocabulary in the laboratory, and how this phenomenon might be relevant to early education.


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