Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How babies learn: implications for how we tell our story

Used with permission. CC: EraPhernalia

A 2004 study traced the verbal development in 27- and 39-month old boys and girls as a measure of how well they could recall a past event. The researchers found that if the children didn't know the words to describe the event when it happened, they couldn't describe it later after learning the appropriate words [source: Simcock and Hayne].

I found the above quote in an article.

The implications for our work are obvious. Writing, educating, and teaching are instruments of change. If someone can't remember what you said, it can't change them permanently. And even as adults, if the learner can't understand the message, he can't possibly remember the message.

So, do these things:

  1. Talk light. Use a common, small vocabulary.

  2. Talk simple. The old adage about not writing above a 6th grade level may be on to something. Don't use the word adage.

  3. Teach words first. Start with a glossary or primer for anything new or unusual.

Question: What do you do to make sure you can reach your audience?