The Power of Words

Have you ever heard of the Hart and Risley (1995) Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children Study?

This study found that by age 3 there is a 30 million word gap between children from wealthier and under privileged families.

Children from higher economic families heard on average 2,153 words per hour while children from middle class families hear 1,250 words per hour and children from lower economic families heard 616 words per hour.
  • What was the main differences? Researchers analyzed five categories of significant family talk,

  • amount of talk

  • proportional amounts of encouragements and discouragements

  • emphasis on names, relations, and recall

  • asking rather than demanding

  • child's behavior during interactions

Guess what? Researchers concluded, "by giving children positive interactions and experiences with adults who take the time to just talk to them, children will get the vocabulary, oral language, and emergent literacy concepts to have a better chance to succeed at school and in the workplace."

So, what is one method to encouraging communication opportunities? By encouraging emotional literacy through reading books and asking questions.

We challenge you to read 50 new picture books that you have never read before to your children, you can find ideas by clicking here.

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