A child’s early exposure to the language is at the heart of development. Aspects of early language environments have been found to predict language skills, cognitive skills, and academic achievement in previous studies. Language exposure encompasses many elements, and researchers continue to investigate what roles specific features might play.
A recent study identifies a link between one of these features—the amount of conversational back-and-forth between parents and children—and the development of language structures in the brain. The findings shed light on the underlying biology that connects linguistic inputs and cognitive outputs. They also underscore the potential value of policies that address language use early on in the course of development.