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Study says babies can't learn to read

Babies aren't capable of learning to read, according

Babies aren't capable of learning to read, according to a new study. Credit: iStock

As much as parents might want to give their kids a leg up in education, there’s only so much a baby can learn. For instance, they can’t learn to read, according to a study by researchers at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

The researchers examined 117 children ages 9 to 18 months, splitting them into two groups. One group received baby media products including DVDs, word and picture flashcards and flip books to be used daily over a 7-month period. The children in the other group were not. Researchers conducted a home visit, four laboratory visits and monthly assessments of the children’s language development.

The results showed no difference between the two groups, even though the parents of the group with the media products expressed a belief that their children had learned something.

“It’s clear that the parents have great confidence in the impact of these products on their children,” Susan Neuman, an NYU professor and the study’s senior author. “However, our study indicates that this sentiment is misplaced.”

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