By 8 months, a baby’s brain has about 1,000 trillion nerve connections. By the age of 10, that number is reduced to about 500 trillion. As the brain operates on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis, early experiences are the defining factor affecting the rate of reduction in nerve connections. Studies on neglected children, who had been deprived of physical and mental stimulation, found that parts of their brain were underdeveloped and 20-30% smaller than most children their age.
Children can start learning any language during infancy and by six can develop advanced language skills!
From birth to four months, babies are ‘universal linguists’ capable of distinguishing each of the 150 sounds that make up all the languages in the world! (Babies Are Smarter Than You Think – LIFE Magazine)
The power to learn a language is so great in the young child…they can learn as many spoken languages as you can allow them to hear regularly! (Dr. Susan Curtiss, Professor of Linguistics, UCLA)
Around age three, children start putting words together into simple sentences and by age six have experienced a vocabulary explosion of more than 10,000 words! (Cognition, Perception and Language – W. Damon & D. Kuhn)