Digital word counters and coaching for parents on toddler talk could help close the “word gap,” hope researchers in Providence, Rhode Island.
Fifty-five toddlers in welfare families, including 2.5-year-old Nylasia Jordan, are part of the pilot, reports John Tulenko for PBS.
Social worker Courtney Soules shows Nylasia’s father that she’s heard 5,000 words on the day she was recorded. An average child will hear about 16,000 words a day.
There was almost no conversation from 10 am to 4 pm — and lots of TV time. The graphs are helpful, says Freddie Jordan. “Everybody wants their kids to learn more, talk more, full words.”
Soules is encouraging the father to talk more.
Modeling conversation, so, asking her questions, and giving her choices.
And have her point. And as she’s pointing at, say…
And also labeling, whether you’re taking a walk and that you’re pointing out birds and trees, and animals to when you are sitting in the house and that you’re reading a book together.
So far, the pilot has raised the daily word count by 300 to 500 words, not enough to make a difference.