Quality of words more important than quantity, Bowman says

[img_caption src=”https://www.erikson.edu/wp-content/uploads/Bowman-Barbara-175×152.jpg” link=”https://www.erikson.edu/about/directory/barbara-bowman/” align=”right” caption=”Barbara Bowman” alt=”Photo: Barbara Bowman”]Professor Barbara Bowman talked to Education Week about the word gap between children of different income levels.

Twenty years ago, a well-known study showed that children from higher-income families are exposed to 30 million more words than families on welfare, giving them an advantage even before starting kindergarten.

New research has cast new light on exactly how interactions with young children affect their language development.

“It’s not just the word gap; it’s what you use language for,” Bowman says.

Researchers are now finding that it’s not only the number of words heard that helps children, but also hearing about new concepts and things that interest them, allowing their brains make those connections earlier.

EDUCATION WEEK: Key to Vocabulary Gap Is Quality of Conversation, Not Dearth of Words