Beyond the 30 Million Word Gap
Date posted: July 20, 2018
Have you heard of the 30 million word gap? Research in the 1980s by Hart and Risley found that children living in poverty heard 30 million fewer words by age 3, a difference which would have a lasting impact. This piece of research has been influential, often cited and used to inspire a large number of foundations, projects, and programs.
But, the finding is controversial. Some of the controversy has to do with the original research study and the different numbers found in newer research. Some of it has to do with the framing the issue as a ‘gap’ or deficit.
Now, new research is adding to the picture of how conversation is fundamental to language development.
To learn more about the 30 million word gap, read:
- Back-and-forth exchanges boost children’s brain response to language
- Differences as Deficiencies – The Persistence of the 30 Million Word Gap
- Let’s Stop Talking About The ’30 Million Word Gap’
- Talking with children matters: Defending the 30 million word gap
- The Word Gap: The Early Years Make the Difference