How can we close the 30 million word gap?

You’ve likely heard of the word gapwhere by the age of 3, there is a 30 million gap in the vocabularies of children from the wealthiest and poorest families. You have also likely heard how a child’s vocabulary predicts later success.

“The more parents talk with their child from birth to age three, the more likely their child will excel academically later in life.  In fact, even disadvantages attributed to socioeconomic status can be overcome.”  Todd Risley, Ph.d

Early care and education play a huge role in reducing the word gap.  However, parents are the most important factor.

1. Talk to your child as you go through daily routines.

2. Sing to your child as you cook, drive, change a diaper, or get them dressed.

3. Read to your child.

4. Count with your child.

5. Point at pictures and describe what you see.

early language

6. Play outside. Go to the park.

7. Use descriptive language.  Describe what you are doing. i.e. “I am washing the blue cup”.

Mobile devices and screens are no substitute for human engagement, careful nurture, imaginative play, and real books.