Research

So much exists to explain the challenges guardians, educators, and ultimately students face with vocabulary and why it's crucial to do more. This page isn't exhaustive by any means, however it's meant to expose, educate, and motivate you.

From toddlers to adults, vocabulary knowledge differs greatly depending on one's socioeconomic background. Once established, differences in vocabulary knowledge remained.

Biemiller, 2011; Hart & Risley 1995, Juel, Biancarosa, Coker, & Deffes 2003

Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition

What exactly is the Word Gap? What's the Big Deal?

By age 3, there is strong evidence of a gap in vocabulary knowledge for children of different SES groups.

Hart & Risley, 1995

Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition

In kindergarten, sizable differences are found between students (of varying SES) in the number of words known.

Baker et al., 1998

Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition

Watch President Barack Obama's message to parents to #closethewordgap.

First-grade children from higher SES groups know about twice as many words as children from lower SES groups.

Graves, Brunetti, & Slater, 1982; Graves & Slater, 1987

Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition

First-grade vocabulary predicted students' reading achievemnt in their junior year in high school.

Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997

Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition

High-knowledge third graders had vocabularies about equal to lowest-performing 12th graders.

Smith, 1941

Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition

There’s a positive correlation between a student’s vocabulary size in grade 12, the likelihood that she will graduate from college, and her future level of income.

Dr. E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Wealth of Words