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Are You as Smart as a 1 Year Old?

October 16, 2010

A few weeks ago, I paid a visit to a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in over three years. He and his wife had a baby boy about a year and half ago. I was thrilled to reacquaint with them. And there, standing by their dinning room and kitchen, I was telling them about our new iSabi Igbo application. I pulled out my phone and started to show them how the application works–starting with letters of the Igbo alphabet. A, Aka. B, Bekee. and then we skipped to Kp, Ekpere.

The couple tried to repeat after the voice spoken by the application. They both tried saying the letter Kp and the word “Ekpere” without much success. Then suddenly, without being prompted, the one and half year old baby sitting on his mothers arm gave a go of it. Kp, Ekpere. Perfect!

We all stared at each other. Needless to say that we were all stunned by the ease and nonchalant way the baby pronounced the letter and word. It was as easy as A-B-C.The baby had no preconceived notions about sound. His virgin mind heard the word and tone. His tongue and mouth repeated the word perfectly.

Combined with other recent experiences, I am beginning to conclude that the best way to get children to be fluent in speaking various languages is to expose them to the sounds made by these languages as early as possible. It seems like the earlier the kids are expose to them, the better they hear and pick up, and repeat the words. Easy as 1-2-3.

Bravo to 1 year olds!

Sunny Egbo

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