Language represents how we think and is the medium for learning. It is also what makes us uniquely human. We come into life hard-wired to learn very quickly from the language we hear around us. Even in the womb, a baby can distinguish speech sounds from non-speech sounds. Soon after birth it will recognise its mother’s voice. Children learn to use as many as 13,000 different words by the time they are six, and this vocabulary will grow to around 60,000 for a college student.