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Why your child is likely to come home from kinder with a new accent

Article image for Why your child is likely to come home from kinder with a new accent

If your child is starting kinder this year, don’t be surprised if they come home with a new accent.

Macquarie University linguistics professor, Felicity Cox, says accents radically change as children echo their classmates.

“Their peers, their friends, their friendship groups are what determine accents in children,” she told Ross and Russel.

“They tend to gravitate towards the dominant form in the classroom or in their peer group.”

But the change affects some children more than others.

“If they come in, particularly with a different language, and start speaking English for the first time in the school, then their language will change incredibly quickly and very radically,” Professor Cox said.

“But if they come in with, say, standard Australian English as their home language … then their language won’t change quite as radically.

“Some children do adopt accents really, really quickly, and others take a little bit of time.

“It does tend to depend on how ingrained they are within the peer group, so children who are fringe dwellers may take a bit more time.”

Professor Cox says accents are never set in stone, but by a person’s 20s they “typically have an accent that will stay with them for most of their lives”.

Press PLAY below for more.

Mikkayla and Scorcher also gave some accents a go, with varying results…

Ross thinks Mikkayla’s accent skills have improved since this infamous attempt.

Press PLAY below to hear Mikkayla and Scorcher’s Irish accent attempts.

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