Search form

Our Brain is Amazing!

It is quite extraordinary that infants can begin communicating at such an early age. Without actually speaking they make gestures such as crying, shrieking, jumping, and even grabbing to communicate. A large part of leaning to communicate using language is the ability to take turns. “Amazingly, infants seem to have a relatively sophisticated awareness of turn-taking signals at very young ages” (Lefrançois, 2012, p. 211). One of the first things an infant will do as he or she is learning to communicate through language is to produce various sounds. An infant will cry, coo, babble, and eventually begin saying small words. Around the age of one an infant will begin to say one or two words. It is not until the age of 18 months or more that they will begin speaking two word sentences.

At birth the majority of brain cells are not yet connected, but interestingly enough a baby’s brain will grow so fast that by the time he or she is two years old his or her brain will be 75% of the weight of an adult’s brain. Consider what this could mean for cognitive development in the early stages of life. “Interestingly, the brain of the 2-year-old may contain more potential connections than it will ever contain again” (Lefrançois, 2012, p. 189). It is also thought that the billions of connections that are not used around this time period will essentially disappear. Could this be why it seems easier for children to learn multiple languages at such an early age?

Ensuring that a child has the right amount of stimulation at an early age helps to create optimal learning opportunities early in life not just for English Language Learner students, but all students alike.  “It seems that in the absence of appropriate stimulation early in life, far more of these billions of connections will be lost than would otherwise be the case” (Lefrançois, 2012, p. 189). The brain of a two-year-old child has the potential to learn more than it ever will in the future.  If this is true then what can we do as parents and educators do to enhance learning and help children to make those connections?  As educators and it is our job to research and learn about the most effective practices in helping our students achieve academic success.  As parents we can utilize our resources both in the school setting as well as our community.  Giving our children the best chance at success means starting early and striving to provide creative learning experiences where children can make real-world connections thus creating sustained learning that will last a lifetime.

Article by Brooke Layton, EducationWorld Contributor

Brooke is a writer, adjunct professor at Ashford University, former assistant principal for Hillsborough County, and teacher.

Education World®             
Copyright © 2020, Education World


Lefrançois, G. R. (2012). Children’s journeys: Exploring early childhood. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.