Seeing Holes in Effort to Bridge ‘Word Gap’ in Poor Children

(Associated Press) When former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his foundation was awarding $5 million to launch Providence’s high-tech idea to improve the vocabularies of the city’s youngest children, he said he hoped the pilot could take root in Rhode Island and spread across the nation. Three years later, more than 500 families have participated in Providence Talks, which uses wearable audio recorders to count every word spoken by toddlers and their parents in low-income households. But whether the pioneering program is a national model or just an interesting concept hasn’t been settled. Read Article

Tales2go commentary:

Our critique of the program is that while it is exceptionally well-intended, it focuses on measurement and a parent’s vocabulary vs. sophisticated spoken words found in books. In other words, children need repeated exposure to spoken sophisticated words found in books in order to acquire and retain a large vocabulary. By example, even highly educated parents will say to their children, “look over there,” vs. “observe.”

Publication:      Associated Press
Author:             Matt O’Brien
Publish Date:   3.25.2016