little book 11:19

NaBloPoMo: Devouring Books, Ingesting Words, and a Page of a Nani Little Book The Thirty Million Word Gap*

*THIS IS A SUMMARY OF A GROUNDBREAKING STUDY ON THE DISPARATE NUMBERS OF WORDS KINDERGARTEN KIDS BRING TO SCHOOL:

“…Betty Hart and Todd Risley entered the homes of 42 families from various socio-economic backgrounds to assess the ways in which daily exchanges between a parent and child shape language and vocabulary development. Their findings were unprecedented, with extraordinary disparities between the sheer number of words spoken as well as the types of messages conveyed. After four years these differences in parent-child interactions produced significant discrepancies in not only children’s knowledge, but also their skills and experiences with children from high-income families being exposed to 30 million more words than children from families on welfare. Follow-up studies showed that these differences in language and interaction experiences have lasting effects on a child’s performance later in life.”

(When this study broke and I attempted to reiterate it to people, the first reaction was that I had the numbers wrong, and I backed off, thinking, that perhaps I was mistaken in the number of zeros or some such. I did persist, however, and made this study one of the  “Anchor” stories in my teaching of teachers. Now, in recent months, I hear the Hart and Risley study’s findings quoted again and again as one of the explanations for the achievement gap. Solution(s)? Well, more books on kids devouring books, that’s for sure, and TALK. Real talk, where someone says something and someone listens and returns talk that’s based on what was heard. Conversation. Authentic talk.)

PATTY

Achievement gap in the United States
Achievement gap in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
what are word for?
what are word for? (Photo credit: Darwin Bell)

 

4 thoughts on “NaBloPoMo: Devouring Books, Ingesting Words, the 30 Million Word Gap, and a Page of a Nani Little Book

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