Just as preschool education has an effect on the success of Latino children in kindergarten, a new study now suggests parents’ vocabulary and language skills play an equally important role regarding the language gap during this stage.
A recently released Stanford University study shows that at the age of 2, children from lower-income families could possibly be half a year behind in language development.
“We all know a child from an affluent or educated family will hear 5 million more words by the time they go to kindergarten,” Steve Moya, author of Great Potential: Latinos in a Changing America, told VOXXI. “The research says Latino and African-American children don’t hear nearly that number of words. And science says the more words a child hears, the more questions they ask and the more their brains are constantly stimulated.”
Language and preschool education gap
In terms of preschool education and Latino children, the study suggests 5-year-old children from lower socioeconomic status are more than two years behind on standardized language development tests by the time they enter kindergarten.
The study, which was published in Developmental Science, identifies an achievement gap regarding language-processing skills in toddlers. The data was gathered by Anne Fernald, a Stanford associate professor of psychology, who designed an experiment to investigate children’s vocabulary and language-processing speed.
The children came from affluent households (median income per capita was $69,000), as well as low-income families (median income per capita of $23,900).
Basically an 18-month-old child was asked to identify two images. The experiment was …
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