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Bridging The Word Gap

Research shows that during the first three years of life, a poor child hears roughly 30 million fewer total words than his or her more affluent peers. This is known as the “word gap,” and it can lead to disparities not just in vocabulary size, but also in school readiness, long-term educational and health outcomes, earnings, and family stability. The "word gap" refers to the difference in the both the quantity of words and the quality of foundational interactions a child hears and experiences in the first few years of life.

African American mother and child reading

 

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Last Reviewed: January 25, 2017