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Child Dev. 2012 Mar-Apr;83(2):508-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01710.x. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

The pace of vocabulary growth helps predict later vocabulary skill.

Author information

1
University of Chicago, USA. mrowe@umd.edu

Abstract

Children vary widely in the rate at which they acquire words--some start slow and speed up, others start fast and continue at a steady pace. Do early developmental variations of this sort help predict vocabulary skill just prior to kindergarten entry? This longitudinal study starts by examining important predictors (socioeconomic status [SES], parent input, child gesture) of vocabulary growth between 14 and 46 months (n = 62) and then uses growth estimates to predict children's vocabulary at 54 months. Velocity and acceleration in vocabulary development at 30 months predicted later vocabulary, particularly for children from low-SES backgrounds. Understanding the pace of early vocabulary growth thus improves our ability to predict school readiness and may help identify children at risk for starting behind.

PMID:
22235920
PMCID:
PMC3262592
DOI:
10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01710.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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