Natsuki Atagi

Natsuki is a 5th year doctoral student in Developmental Psychology at UCLA. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Gender Studies at Indiana University and her M.A. in Developmental Psychology at UCLA. Her research examines how children's language experiences affect cognitive development. Natsuki is particularly interested in understanding how experience with one versus two (or more!) languages during childhood affects learning and conceptual development.

The benefits of multilingual education

This November, California voters will vote on Prop 58 (also called Prop 58-LEARN [Language Education, Acquisition, and Readiness Now]; Senate Bill 1174). This bill, introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), will bring back California parents’ option to choose multilingual education for their children. I will be upfront and disclose that—as a researcher of bilingual children’s language and cognitive development—I am fully in support of this bill. But my goal for writing this post is…

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Getting your Zzz’s as a baby: How you learn to sleep depends on your culture

The topic of how to get babies to sleep can be a touchy and stressful subject for many parents. There’s been a lot of popular articles written on the topic, and these articles have been published in unsurprising places like Parents Magazine and HuffPost Parents, as well as some less expected places like The Washington Post and Forbes. Articles like these are often filled with information about the pros and cons of every imaginable sleep arrangement…

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The Politics of Eating and Exercising: Are We Getting It Right?

Eat healthier. Exercise. Our culture is currently full of messages telling us to change our habits, to turn us into a leaner, healthier society. While these messages are easier said than done, they’re perfectly warranted: The Centers for Disease Control reports that childhood obesity has tripled since the 1970s. So what can we do to fight childhood obesity? According to Kristen Harrison and other researchers in the Division of Nutrition Sciences at the University of…

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What do we mean when we say ‘bilingual’?

The New York Times published an opinion piece this weekend titled, Are We Really Monolingual?. The piece mainly focuses on the various issues in how we try to estimate the number of languages a person speaks. The article writes, Since 1980, the United States Census Bureau has asked: “Does this person speak a language other than English at home? What is this language? How well does this person speak English?” … This figure is often…

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50, 100, 1000 words for snow: Does the language we speak affect how we think?

Kate Bush, a British singer-songwriter, released a new album this past Monday, titled 50 Words for Snow. The inspiration for this album title comes from the popular belief that the Eskimo language had many, many words for snow because the Eskimo people differentiated all the different types of snow they experienced. On this album, Kate Bush has a song with the same title, where she explores the question, “…if [the Eskimo language] had that many…

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