When I think of babies, I think of them as being cute, loving, adorable, playful, and naive little creatures that will once grow up to be the epitome of their highly intelligent caretakers. Beyond that, I have never given much credit to these cute little humans. After taking psychology 1001 all semester long and learning about the development of language, I have realized that I have highly discredited babies all along. What I realized from learning about the process of language is that babies are highly intelligent humans. According to Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding (p. 290), "language is among the few documented cases in which children are more efficient learners than adults" (Lilienfeld, p. 290). Their ability to quickly learn and develop language even before they are born completely astonished me. According to psychologists, babies within their mothers womb have the ability to recognize their mother's voice and recognize specific traits of her native language by the fifth month of pregnancy (Lilienfeld, p. 290). Furthermore, by the mere age of one, these infants are able to figure out the phonemes of their native language and are able to learn how to produce vocal sounds that are specific to their language (Lilienfeld, p. 291). Though it seems like complete nonsense, the "babbling" sounds produced by these cuties "play an important role in language development by enabling babies to figure out how to move their vocal tracts to generate specific sounds" (Lilienfeld, 291).
(Yes! These two are actually communicating!)
Furthermore, during the next stages of their early life, babies begin the process of developing and learning words. However, in order to produce the language, they must first comprehend it, which takes a great amount of ability. After comprehension, the babies slowly begin to accumulate their words, one by one. And over time, through trial and error, they can beautifully produce language (Lilienfeld, p. 291).
Though this was a very brief explanation of how babies actually develop language, I think its clear as to how intelligent these little human beings are. Their ability to produce and understand language at such a young age in incredible, to say the least. Furthermore, they have the ability to learn language in a way that older human beings can't. Honestly, my mind was blown after I learned this in the psychology lectures. Because of my own sheer amazement and interest in this topic, I know for sure that five years down the road, this is one topic that I will continue to remember since it made such an impact on me.
Lilienfeld, Scott O. "Language, Thinking, and Reasoning." Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2010. 290-91. Print.