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Caroline is available for talks about the importance of reading to babies. She also contributes to on-line magazines on the subject of language and literacy development.
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Research on the Benefits to Babies of Hearing a Flood Of Face-To-Face Language From Their Caretakers
1. Babies who were read to regularly starting at six months had a 40% increase in receptive vocabulary by the time they were eighteen months of age. Babies in the study who were not read to had only a 16% increase in receptive vocabulary.
Pamela C. High, MD and her associates at the Child Development Center at Rhode Island Hospital conducted this study. (See PEDIATRICS, Vol.105 No.4, April 2000.)
2. Children who hear a wealth of language before the age of three will experience success at school. The Hart Risley long-term study show that it's the amount of language a child hears per hour before the age of three that determines future academic success. This language must be positive and articulate and must be directed at the child in the form of a conversation that includes questions and following the child's lead in determining where the conversation goes. This study also shows that children who have experienced an abundance of language in the form of talk and read-alouds will have heard 32 million more words by the time they are four than children who haven't had a language-rich environment.
Drs. Betty Hart and Todd Risley T., Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children (Baltimore: Brooks Publishing, 1996). p. 98.
3. Children's books contain three times more unusual (rare) words than the everyday conversation between parent and child.
Donald P. Hays and Margaret G. Ahrens, "Vocabulary simplification for Children: A Special Case of 'Motherese,' " Journal of Child Language, Vol.15, 1988, pp.395-411.
4. Excessive TV viewing in preschoolers can delay reading skills. Children in "heavy" TV households are less likely to read.
Victoria J. Rideout, MA, Elizabeth A. Vandewater, Ph.D, Ellen A. Wartella, PhD, in partnership with the Henry J. Kaiser Family foundation and the Children's Digital Media Centers (CDMC).
5. There is a connection between early TV exposure and later attention problems such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder).
Dr. Dimitri Christakis, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, (PEDIATRICS, April 2004.)
6. Reading to children from birth is the single most important thing parents can do to prepare their children for school.
Anderson, R, Ph.D, Hiebert, E., Ph.D, Scott, J, and Wildinson, I., Ph.D, Becoming a Nation of Readers, Champaign, Il, Center for the Study of Reading.
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