You probably heard of the “30-million-word gap” from a landmark study in 1995 that found children from higher-income families hear about 30 million more words during their first three years of life than children from lower-income families. This “30-million-word gap” correlates with significant differences in tests of vocabulary, language development, and reading comprehension.
MIT cognitive scientists have now found that conversation between an adult and a child appears to change the child’s brain and that this back-and-forth conversation is actually more critical to language development than the word gap. For this week’s discussion, please do the following,
1. Read the article and watch the embedded video at https://news.mit.edu/2018/conversation-boost-childrens-brain-response-language-0214 (Links to an external site.).
2. What have you learned? What is the implication of this study?