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Articles/Studies

Hart, Betty & Risley, Todd R. “The Early Catastrophe: the 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3 (PDF).” American Educator, Spring. 4-9 (2003). Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

  • Betty Hart and Todd Risley visited 42 families from various socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Assessed how daily exchanges between parent and child shape language and vocabulary development.
  • Follow-up studies showed that differences in language and interaction experiences have lasting effects on a child’s performance later in life. 

Lawson, K. “The real power of parental reading aloud: exploring the affective and attentional dimensions.”  Australian Journal of Education, 56.3 (2012): 257+. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

  • Theories of language development illuminate the auditory dimension of literacy.
  • Parental reading aloud is an indicator of children’s later academic success.
  • Uninterrupted listening to narratives helps children develop auditory attention systems. 

Lempke, Susan Dove. "Early literacy and series nonfiction." Booklist 1 Oct. 2009: 56+. General OneFile. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

  • Series nonfiction books help feed preschoolers’ insatiable need to learn.
  • Transportation, animals and shapes are popular topics.
  • Nonfiction comes in large picture books, smaller books with larger type, and board books. 

Wasik, Barbara A., and Annemarie H. Hindman. “Talk alone won't close the 30-million word gap: research shows that the youngest children best learn words--the foundation for all learning yet to come--through repeated exposure and open-ended conversations with adults.”  Phi Delta Kappan, 96.6 (2015): 50. General OneFile. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

  • A substantial vocabulary gap separates more and less affluent children.
  • By third grade, children with a word gap show lower performance in vocabulary, language development and reading comprehension.
  • Research describes principles for vocabulary learning, such as repeated exposure to new words and connecting a word’s meaning to their own experiences. 

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