Advancing our understanding of the link between statistical learning and language acquisition: The need for longitudinal data

Joanne Arciuli, Janne von Koss Torkildsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Mastery of language can be a struggle for some children. Amongst those that succeed in achieving this feat there is variability in proficiency. Cognitive scientists remain intrigued by this variation. A now substantial body of research suggests that language acquisition is underpinned by a child's capacity for statistical learning (SL). Moreover, a growing body of research has demonstrated that variability in SL is associated with variability in language proficiency. Yet, there is a striking lack of longitudinal data. To date, there has been no comprehensive investigation of whether a capacity for SL in young children is, in fact, associated with language proficiency in subsequent years. Here we review key studies that have led to the need for this longitudinal research. Advancing the language acquisition debate via longitudinal research has the potential to transform our understanding of typical development as well as disorders such as autism, specific language impairment, and dyslexia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberArticle 324
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Volume3
    Issue numberAUG
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2012

    Keywords

    • Language acquisition
    • Language impairment
    • Language proficiency
    • Longitudinal studies
    • Statistical learning

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