Reading to your kids can boost their vocabulary by over a million words!

By April 16, 2019 Language, News

Reading aloud to your child can help boost their vocabulary by 1.4 million words according to a study.

A study from the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics says parents who read to their children are not only strengthening their bond but also increasing their chances at school. The study shows that kids who are read one short book a day enter their first school years hearing almost 300,000 more words than those whose parents didn’t read to them at all. Of course when parents read more than one book the number increases again; five books per day increases their vocabulary by 1.4 million words!

Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University, calls the discrepancy between children who are read to and those who aren’t “the million word gap”.

The stark difference between one five-year-old’s vocabulary and another is almost certainly down to how much they are read to at home. Logan asserts that those who are read to even a little will find it easier learning to read by themselves:

“Kids who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school. They are likely to pick up reading skills more quickly and easily.”

“The fact that we had so many parents who said they never or seldom read to their kids was pretty shocking to us. We wanted to figure out what that might mean for their kids.”

Logan and her team of researchers collaborated with the Columbus Metropolitan Library, identifying the 100 most circulated books for both board books (for infants and toddlers) and picture books (for preschoolers).

They took 30 books from both lists from random and counted how many words were in each book. They found that board books contain an average of 140 words and picture books contain an average of 228 words.

Based on further calculations based on how much the average parent interacts with and reads to their child, Logan and the researchers worked out how many words kids would have heard by the time they were 5 years old:

Never read to, 4,662 words; 1-2 times per week, 63,570 words; 3-5 times per week, 169,520 words; daily, 296,660 words; and five books a day, 1,483,300 words.

“This isn’t about everyday communication,” Logan asserted, “The words kids hear in books are going to be much more complex, difficult words than they hear just talking to their parents and others in the home. The words kids hear from books may have special importance in learning to read. Exposure to vocabulary is good for all kids. Parents can get access to books that are appropriate for their children at the local library.”

Reading to your kids can boost their vocabulary by over a million words!

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Reading aloud to your child can help boost their vocabulary by 1.4 million words according to a study.

A study from the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics says parents who read to their children are not only strengthening their bond but also increasing their chances at school. The study shows that kids who are read one short book a day enter their first school years hearing almost 300,000 more words than those whose parents didn’t read to them at all. Of course when parents read more than one book the number increases again; five books per day increases their vocabulary by 1.4 million words!

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Literary puns guaranteed to make you groan and giggle

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Puns can make you giggle or they can make you groan… Or both!

The best kind of puns are the ones you don’t see coming, that hit you upside the head with their quick wit and frustratingly clever word play. We are suckers for playful language here at For Reading Addicts, and to be honest even a simple pun can lighten the mood.

Check out some of the best literary puns we have come across on the world wide web- some more groan-worthy than others!

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Dictionary Website Adds Over 300 Words and Phrases for 2019

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Dictionary.com is the go-to website for many internet users in search of English definitions, synonyms, word origins, slang phrases, idioms, abbreviations, and much more.

2019 has been a busy year for the site so far with over 300 new definitions being added thanks to an increase in online slang and a rise in social and political debate on social media. Some may moan about ‘identity culture’ causing devision, however many more find the new language created around gender and sexuality to be empowering and inclusive. One such word added to Dictionary.com is ‘aromantic’, meaning: “a person who is free from romantic attraction to anyone or free from the desire for romantic love.” For those who would identify as ‘aromantic’ this addition to the dictionary is a validating and positive experience.

We have chosen a selection of our favourite additions below, but visit the dictionary website for the full list of new and popular words and phrases for 2019.

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Commonly misspelled words in the USA according to GoogleTrends

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To celebrate the ‘Scripps US National Spelling Bee‘, the brain boxes over at GoogleTrends have created a map of the United States to show which state searched for the spelling of commonly misspelled words.

Among the most commonly misspelled were “niece,” “cancelled,” “desert”, and “beautiful.” And then there is the state of Massachusetts, whose most Googled request was for the spelling of their own state… Awkward.

Check our the map below!

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French writers insulted by ‘growing attack’ on French language

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French writers have expressed their distaste at the increasing prevalence of English words unnecessarily invading the French language.

A French book fair ‘Scène Young Adult’ at the Salon du Livre in Paris has drawn the ire of French authors, who say that replacing French words with English is “unbearable act of cultural delinquency”. Scene YA signs and displays read “Le Live”, “Bookroom”, “photobooth” and “bookquizz”, described as “sub-English knowns as globish”.

Well known writers such as Leïla Slimani, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Muriel Barbery and Catherine Millet all took great offence at English infiltrating their literary space and wrote an open letter published in Le Monde expressing their disappointment.

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‘Gammon’ and ‘Vegan’ are among Collins Dictionary Words of 2018

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Gammon has been named Collins dictionary’s Word of the Year 2018 along with a small list of others.

Other words of 2018 include Vegan, MeToo, and Gaslight- a real reflection of the direction 2018 has taken. Many of this year’s most used, newest, and redefined words are coming from the left side of the political spectrum. As a reaction against ingrained cultural sexism, institutional racism and xenophobia, words like gammon or whitewash have been on the rise.

Some may find the word ‘gammon’ offensive, and they are entitled to express their distaste, however the word is only truly offensive to those who the word is aimed at. The word first came about when a pattern emerged on BBC’s Question Time. It became apparent that older white men became quite pink in the face while ranting about ‘bloody foreigners’, ‘Brexit’, and the EU. It is not, despite many wannabe victims insisting it so, racist.

The full list of Collins Dictionary’s Words of the Year 2018 are below.

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