Children deprived of being read to before kindergarten miss nearly 1.4 million words

A fresh study published in the “Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics”, revealed that kids whose parents never read them any books before entering kindergarten tend to have missed nearly 1.4 Million words.

Lead author of the study, Jessica Logan suggested that this huge gap leads to the main reason why there are differences in reading development and vocabulary of children.

Logan stated: “Kids who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school. They are likely to pick up reading skills more quickly and easily.”

Logan came up with the idea for this research when she discovered that 1 out 4 children in a national sample never got the privilege of being read to and another fourth were read very rarely. She said: “The fact that we had so many parents who said they never or seldom read to their kids was pretty shocking to us. We wanted to figure out what that might mean for their kids.”

Logan along with her team collaborated with the Columbus Metropolitan Library and randomly chose 30 books from board & picture books each. The total words were counted per book. Building on that information, words heard by a child from his or her 5th birthday were also counted at different stages of reading.

Logan commented on the results:  “The word gap of more than 1 million words between children raised in a literacy-rich environment and those who were never read to is striking.”

This isn’t the only surprising study, previously a study revealed that children who grow up in poverty tend to miss 30 million words than those who are from a privileged background. Logan added: “This isn’t about everyday communication. The words kids hear in books are going to be much more complex, difficult words than they hear just talking to their parents and others in the home.”

The outcomes of this research feature the importance of reading to children. As Logan commented: “Exposure to vocabulary is good for all kids. Parents can get access to books that are appropriate for their children at the local library.”