Word of Mouth Learning to Communicate

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  • From simple gurgles to the ingenious storytelling of a three-year-old, this program illustrates how children learn to convey thoughts, feelings, and experiences. The development of nonverbal communication skills is examined as the film's young subjects begin to parse out basic sounds and facial expressions, then apply what they discover in a way that becomes more proactive, verbal, and finally composed of logical sentences. Viewers can watch this process of language-building play out in fascinating, intimate scenes-starting with a single infant, then including his or her parents or guardians, and then encompassing an ever-widening circle of relationships.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on Aug. 26, 2010.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.


  • Language and Innate Abilities (2:57) -- First Language Utterances (4:29) -- Babies and Word Meanings (2:21) -- Object Names (3:20) -- Baby Talk (3:22) -- Rapid Word Acquisition (2:27) -- Children Speak in Sentences (4:26) -- Credits: Word of Mouth: Learning to Communicate (0:39)
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