In a very interesting study, the scientists have found that the babies can differentiate sounds between their native language and a foreign one right from birth. Their study suggests that they are hooking on to their mother tongue right in the womb itself.
Sensory and brain mechanisms for hearing are developed at 30 weeks of gestational age, and the new study shows that unborn babies are listening to their mothers talk during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and at birth can demonstrate what they’ve heard.
“The mother has first dibs on influencing the child’s brain,” says Patricia Kuhl, co-author and co-director of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington. “The vowel sounds in her speech are the loudest units and the fetus locks onto them.”
It is therefore important to handle the last few weeks of the pregnancy with great care to see what the kids will get to learn. And of course the coming few weeks after the birth are equally important. The researchers also say that the kids are very fast learners and if understood as to how they learn, we can better equip adults to more productive lifelong learning.