Writing on the Ohio State website, Jeff Grabmeier reports that:
“Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a new study found.
This ‘million word gap’ could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development, said Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University.
Even kids who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver.”
And, in an Exchange article, "Supporting Parents in Guiding Early Language and Literacy Development" (which is the foundation for an Out of the Box Training Kit), author Bisa Batten Lewis provides these developmentally appropriate strategies for supporting infants’ language and literacy learning that can be shared with families:
Source: “A ‘million word gap’ for children who aren’t read to at home,” by Jeff Grabmeier, April 4, 2019, osu.edu
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The Out of the Box Training Kit, "Building Bridges Through Words," helps teachers understand the power that their words have on all domains of children's development. By reading this article and engaging in the experiences, teachers will become more intentional in using language to support children's social-emotional, cognitive, and physical growth, as well as to develop relationships with children and families in the early childhood classroom.
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The "million word gap" is based on flawed research that perpetuates a deficit-based approach to understanding parent/child communication. I fear that it encourages a continuation of symbolic violence against children and families of color. We need to stop.