We at Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic are big fans of the Thirty Million Words® Initiative. It is “an innovative parent-directed program designed to harness the power of parent language to build a child’s brain and impact his or her future”.
What is Thirty Million Words®?
The program is based on a world-famous 1995 study by researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley, who found that some children heard much less words by 4th grade than others. This negatively impacted their vocabularies, reading skills and overall preparedness for school. Children who were exposed to more communication in their younger age, however, were found to be more successful. The bottom line is that children who started out ahead, stayed ahead even throughout their high school years. TMW call this disparity an achievement gap. The initiative’s main goal is to promote better communication between parents and kids, and help close this gap.
Since we discovered Thirty Million Words, we’ve been dying to share some of their tips with you. There are no age restrictions, complicated strategies or doctor sessions involved, which is why the initiative’s 3 T’s are simple and doable steps to help your child grow.
1. Tune In
… by paying attention to what your child is communicating to you.
2. Talk More
… with your child using descriptive words to build his vocabulary.
3. Take Turns
… by encouraging your child to respond to your words and actions.