Jun 122013

In this week’s 6 Minute English: What do babies learn before they are born? New tests have taken place to understand how unborn babies – called foetuses – learn language. It has been discovered that when babies are born they can already recognise familiar sounds and language patterns.

Rob and Finn discuss this research in 6 Minute English. They also talk about how babies develop an accent at a very young age.

This week’s question:

According to a survey by the National Literacy Trust, which one of these words was discovered to be the most common first word for a baby to say – not including Mummy or Daddy?

a) dog

b) eat

c) bus

Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme.


foetuses: developing, unborn babies
womb: place inside a woman’s body where a baby grows before it is born
communicate: speak or talk to other people
bi-lingual: speaking two languages
fluent: speak very well
repetition: doing something again and again
accent: way of saying words that shows what country, region, or social class someone comes from
intonation: the way our voice goes up and down as we speak

6 Minute English – Learning in the womb Transcript Video


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Source: BBC Learning English

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