Students Must Learn More Words, Say Studies | Building Early Literacy Through Public Libraries |

Children who enter kindergarten with a small vocabulary don't get taught enough words—particularly, sophisticated academic words—to close the gap, according to the latest in a series of studies by Michigan early-learning experts.

Ms. Neuman and Ms. Wright found limited vocabulary instruction across the board, but students in poverty—the ones prior research shows enter school knowing 10,000 fewer words than their peers from higher-income families—were the least likely to get instruction in academically challenging words.


The Michigan studies are "immensely valuable in calling attention to the problem, and to the way early-literacy instruction fails to overcome the verbal gaps between demographic groups," said E.D. Hirsch Jr., the founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation and a professor emeritus of education and humanities at the University of Virginia.

Via Deb Gardner