The Power of TalkNext

The Power of Talk
Studies have proven what you already knew: Simply talking with your child is more
powerful than any combination of flashcards, computer programs, television or DVDs. But the quantity of
words your child hears every day from birth to age 3 is critical.
Researchers Dr. Betty Hart, Ph.D., and Dr. Todd Risley, Ph.D., conducted painstaking research over
almost a decade to learn why some children do better than others in school, and published their
findings in a groundbreaking book called Meaningful Differences.1 The answer comes down to words.
The more parents and caregivers talked with their children from birth to age 3, the more likely those
children would succeed later in life.
Specifically, their study and several subsequent studies confirmed that children whose parents and
caregivers speak 33 million words to them during this time period — or 30,000 words every day — did
better academically than children who heard fewer words.
After the first three years, all other efforts to teach a child vocabulary are remedial. Worse, it is
virtually impossible to close the gap with children whose parents have provided an advantage.
The quantity of talk a child experienced directly correlated with the child’s IQ and vocabulary size.
No other variable, including parents’ educations or socioeconomic status, predicted a child’s IQ and
vocabulary as well as the quantity of talk the parents had with their child.
1 Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children.
Betty Hart, Ph.D., and Todd R. Risley, Ph.D. (1995). Baltimore: Brookes Publishing Co.
Copyright © 2007 Infoture, Inc.