Low levels of vitamin D in pregnant women have been found to be linked to difficulty in language development in children, say Australian scientists at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth.
Researchers tested vitamin D concentrations of more than 700 pregnant Caucasian women, and conducted follow-ups until each child was 17. The most significant language impairment was seen in children aged between 5 and 10 years. Language development impairment which continued into primary school years affected 6 per cent of Australian children.
Lead author of the study, Associate Professor Andrew Whitehouse, said “the developing baby is completely reliant on the mother for its vitamin D levels and what we have shown is that this might have an impact on the child’s brain development.”
The main source of vitamin D is direct sunlight.
The new research was published in Pediatrics journal.
Other peoples’ ability to pronounce your name could affect how successful you are, a new study has found. Researchers at Melbourne University’s School of Psychological Sciences say that easy to pronounce names are generally perceived more favourably when it comes to job promotions, voting preferences and even at school.
The study, which is published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, looks at the “name pronunciation effect,” using surnames from a variety of nationalities. Amongst the easiest to pronounce was Sherman, whilst Farquharson proved more challenging to pronounce. Author Dr Simon Latham claims that the effects can be independent of the length of the name, or how unusual it is.
A 15 year old from Glasgow has won a trip to Beijing in a Mandarin competition.
Ellie Koepplinger, who began learning Mandarin a year and a half ago, impressed judges in the Beginners category of the British Council Speaking Competition, held at the British Museum.
“It’s a beautiful language that’s full of cultural references and stories – there’s a history to every word and phrase. The way the characters are formulated is also fascinating. I want to become an international politician when I’m older and that means you will have to interact with China and the Chinese. The more people that learn Chinese the better-connected and richer Britain will be in the future. China is going to be a superpower and if we can speak their language it’s going to help us massively, so I think it’s great that the British Council is encouraging people to speak it,” she said.
Ellie will join winners of the other language ability categories on a trip to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China.
I adore my cat, and I’m also a huge fan of lettering and typefaces. As if by magic, popular site I Can Has Cheezburger recently posted Cats as Fonts, which I just have to share, since I feel it’s pretty accurate!
In other typeface trivia, I’ve never like Comic Sans, but was surprised to come across a site dedicated to getting rid of it!