• The KidTalk Team

Special Feature: Adding Old Recordings

Chances are if you’re recording your child’s voice on KidTalk, you’ve been doing this long before the app was even created. As you read this, you can probably imagine the vast amount of “cute videos” you’ve shared where your children said something that took you by surprise, whether that’s a new vocabulary word they overheard at the dinner table, or something they learned at school. Even now, children are using terms we would have never imagined becoming part of their inventory.


The words children said before this pandemic are just as valuable in capturing how COVID-19 is shaping their language. To understand the many ways this pandemic is shaping communication, we have to know what language looked like before.


KidTalk offers a very special (and time efficient) way to do just that! When you go to “Record” in the app and choose “Extract Audio,” you can extract the soundtrack from videos you have saved in your library. Not only will this strengthen our research, but it’ll allow you to see for yourself just how your children’s language has changed over a longer period of time. These changes may not seem as huge when you experience communication with your children on a daily basis, but when you take a step back and compare recordings from very different time periods, you’ll notice significant differences. You might notice differences in articulation, sentence structure, vocabulary, or even intonation.


Usually, research captures information within a specific time period (the time from which the study began). Our app allows our researchers to reach into the past and connect these moments with the present.For example, did you ever imagine that your young child would be using words like “pandemic” or “quarantine” in their everyday conversations? How does this compare to what they were talking about six months ago? By uploading old recordings , you can compare everyday conversations before and during the pandemic and see the changes for yourself!

This work is funded by the National Science Foundation

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© 2020 by KidTalk: Language Scrapbooking for Science

KidTalk logo and illustrations by Emily Brymer