Child is currently 2 years 2 months old.
I speak only in English with the child and the child understands it.
I read the story books in English and the child understands them.

English is not the native language and I am the only source of English for the child.

Considering: meta.ell.stackexchange.com

Be careful―children don't generally learn language from television, and allowing more than a couple hours a day of television has been shown to slow language development. Children under 2 years old shouldn't be shown television at all. They need real human beings to learn languages.

and linuxquestions.org

A child of that age is a sponge for languages, and can learn more than one at a time. But they key is that the child is looking at a person who is speaking the language to him or her, and listening to it being spoken.

"A video" is not the same thing. A very young child doesn't associate a picture on a flat device with being a person. S/He doesn't associate that with "speech."

People are different, communities are different but the claim is same.

  • Are there any studies about whether children learn the spoken language from the television/podcasts or not?

Considering that a reputable website like BBC has special section for learning English through podcasts, my question is:
- From what age children start learning the spoken language from the television/podcasts?

  • Something from experience, me and my sister watched a lot of german television as kids (age 4 to age 14 roughly) and never had german in school and we know the language extremly well – Vajura Aug 5 '15 at 5:24
  • Clarify "new" language in the title, please. First language acquisition mechanisms can be different from second language acquisition's. Also, are you interested only in spoken language, or visual languages? There are different studies available for sign language acquisition, for example. Looking forward to updates and answers to your question! – user11394 Aug 5 '15 at 5:44
  • Just to add my 0.02$ here: When I was around 3 years old, my family moved to Australia until I was around 6-7. For the first year, I didn't go to Kindergarten and I learned English primarily by watching TV. I don't remember how much and of course I later did go to school where I had kids to interact with. However, by that time I was already comfortable with speaking it somehow, I don't remember having any trouble. Not recommending or suggesting anything, just relaying my personal experience. – mechalynx Aug 5 '15 at 5:56
  • @CreationEdge thanks for your interest. I was referring to spoken languages only since my aim is to teach the child spoken English. By new I meant non native language. – Aquarius_Girl Aug 5 '15 at 6:08
  • If you really need specific answers to both parts of your question, then you should open a second question about the age. I apologize for not asking for improved focus earlier before I posted an answer, but was not aware that the two parts of the question were so discrete. It is not a good StackExchange question if we have to have an extended discussion in comments to refine both Q&A :) – Acire Aug 5 '15 at 11:08

It appears that children don't learn language well from television because they need interaction and conversation. It's not so much that the "picture on a flat device [isn't] a person", but more that the child doesn't get a response when they try to talk back to the picture. In one study, when children had a conversation over Skype with an adult, they were more responsive to new words than when viewing a pre-recorded adult.

In subsequent tests, the kids who’d been in a live video chat showed evidence of having learned the new words. They were able, for instance, to recognize new examples of “meeping” (a puppet turning the dial on another, different toy), and their performance was just as good as that of kids who’d been tutored by somebody in the flesh.

But the kids who’d been in fake conversations didn’t show any sign of learning.

  • 1
    There are additional studies discussed in this article on ParentingScience.com; if I have time tomorrow, I may pull more of them out to include in the body of this answer. – Acire Aug 5 '15 at 2:10
  • Thanks, but you didn't answer the second question of mine. – Aquarius_Girl Aug 5 '15 at 4:05
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    @abcd - If the answer to the first question (if?) is a negative, answering the second question (when?) is unnecessary. An analogy would be, "Are there any studies showing that kids can learn to fly from watching birds?" If the answer is no, then "At what age does this start to occur?" is rendered a moot point. – anongoodnurse Aug 5 '15 at 4:32
  • @abcd: Gut feeling for 2: From that age when they are able to do self-directed studies, I'd estimate (late-ish) teens. – Stephie Aug 5 '15 at 4:40
  • @anongoodnurse If that is true then why are there so many podcasts for learning English on BBC' official website? – Aquarius_Girl Aug 5 '15 at 6:02

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