Well it’s been a long time since my last regular post (Jan 1, ahem) so let’s get back on track. I’m a month+ late with this one (oops) but, life intervenes sometimes. Guests, a month of sickness, doctor’s appointments, traveling, and holidays… lots to do.
In the meantime, I have continued to read lots and lots of books. Good thing. I recently learned about researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley at the University of Kansas and their research on children’s language development. They followed 42 families of different socio-economic backgrounds and recorded every word they said, for one hour per month, over two and a half years. They determined that the number of words the children heard was the most interesting variable as to their vocabulary development by age 3.
They found that babies need to hear 21,000 words a day, or 2,100 words an hour, to have a bigger vocabulary (and what comes along with it). Turns out that’s only about 15 minutes of talking in an hour. (Thanks to Tracy Cutchlow’s book Zero to Five for that information.)
Not only does reading help bring up your child’s vocabulary, but it also gives you some nice family time together.