It isn’t always easy to keep your child’s attention – but new research reveals that your accent, and your gender, could be the reason behind it
A new study has highlighted which accents children respond to most. Researchers found that children as young as 18 months pay more attention to British accents, following a poll of 300 UK families and 300 US families.
Children aged from 18 months to six years old were asked to try out a puzzle app created by developer Little Clever. The researchers tested lots of different accents over the course of a week to see which ones the children responded to most.
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The accents included Northern English, a clear English accent called ‘received pronunciation’, a Scottish accent and an American one.
So which accents came out on top? A clear English accent was responded to best, by a long mile. The results showed that 95 per cent of UK children and 70 per cent of US children paid most attention to it.
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‘We made sure any words which are pronounced differently in the US were correct, but even the parents in America preferred the English accent, believing it sounded more authoritative,’ says Kevin Croombs, chief executive of Little Clever. ‘UK parents felt their children are already over-exposed to American accents thanks to the likes of Disney and video games, so our app made a welcome change.’
The study also shows that children respond better to the sound of a woman’s voice.
‘As we get older we regard male voices as more authoritative, but children under five still respond better to a female voice, probably because of the bond with their mother,’ Kevin continues.
Does your child come into contact with lots of different accents? Let us know in the comments box below.