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'Language-Gap Barrier Bolsters a Push For Pre-K'

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It always astounds me how wide the gap is between the number of words that children of educated children hear compared to how many that children of less educated people hear. I don't understand it, frankly. I've been around both educated and non-educated people. Educated people don't seem to talk less, and this is a study about sheer volume, not use of big words or lines of reasoning:


    Bottom line? Another in a long line of evidence that pre-K, which here would help make up the ground that children lose because of their apparently strong-but-silent-type parents, is a vital component of any education reform plans.
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Gracias, mods.
  3. Here me roar

    Here me roar Guest

    I wonder if better-educated parents use fewer 'baby words' to their babies and toddlers than un/undereducated parents? Could that be part of the discrepancy? We've all seen the people while addressing a three, four year old and talk like this "oh, what's a matter wif your fing-fing. Does ooh have a boo boo?"
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think a lot of it comes down to reading to your kids. We read to our kids all the time and they can't get enough of books. It's kind of sad that a lot of people just don't read to their kids anymore.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Interesting observation. I read 2-3 books a night to my son, and he begs for more, then looks at them after I leave the room. I'm not expecting a medal for father of the year or anything. I thought it was pretty standard. The biggest threat we can make to get him to brush teeth, change into pajamas, take a bath, etc., is "no stories unless ..."
  6. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    The children of educated parents also probably come from families with the money to afford all sorts of early educational development, from parents-and-tots classes to, heck, taking outings to the zoo.
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but talking to your kids is free.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    It's not as standard as it should be. I read to my kids and my 7-year-old reads to my 5-year-old. They both read on their own before they go to bed. The school also mandates that they read 20-30 minutes a night and we make that the first thing they do when they get to the YMCA after school.

    My oldest will go grab my Kindle Fire and go to the library website and pick which book he wants me to read. It's pretty cool...
  9. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Reading to your kids is huge. Of course, not every kid comes from literate parents.
    When I was getting my teaching certification, I remember being told about the huge discrepancy between the vocabulary sizes of children from poor and affluent families. I can't remember the exact number of words different, but it was in the thousands by the time they entered Kindergarten. I want to say, on average, poor students had a vocabulary around half the size of their more affluent peers. That's starting from behind the 8 ball.
  10. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    It's not without an opportunity cost. A single-parent who has to work long hours to support their kid is going to have less time to talk to the kid than the family with a stay-at-home parent.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I wonder if there's a vocabulary gap between children with working moms and children with stay-at-home moms. Is having a working mom the same disadvantage as having a single mom? Should it matter? The children are presumably still with an adult all day.
  12. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Presumably. Someone providing free daycare for 5 neighborhood kids might not provide the same amount of quality interactions as a high-quality daycare.
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