– What can parents do to help their children succeed in preschool, kindergarten, and far beyond? According to a new study by Penn State Associate Professor Paul L. Morgan and colleagues, oral vocabulary is a factor uniquely predictive of both the academic and behavioral achievement of a child. 90 percent of English-speaking 24-month-old toddlers have an oral vocabulary of at least 40 to 50 words, sometimes twice more. But early vocabulary increases exponentially. By the time they are 6-year-old, children will know on average 10,000 words.

– A richer vocabulary enables children to better recognize and decode words phonetically, in addition to fostering their listening and reading skills development. The Morgan’s study has shown that toddler’s oral vocabulary is related to reading and math achievement at age five. Two-year-old kids with a larger vocabulary than their peers scored better, about three years later, in kindergarten reading and math tests. Last but not least, the Penn State research confirmed that the number of words known at age two is even a stronger predictor of future “math” scores than “reading” scores.



Image: 10-month-old Child laughing (Wikipedia)