Casual Conversations with Sophisticated Words in Preschool Linked to Later Reading Scores. Plus, Early Ed Experts on TV.


It is clear early literacy is important and a new study shows connections between sophisticated literacy environments in preschool and reading scores in fourth grade.

What is most interesting about the new study is the link between the use of advanced words in conversation and later developments in vocabulary and reading.

One preschool teacher behavior that predicted children’s growth was the frequency of sophisticated vocabulary use during informal conversations. Such exposure predicted children’s kindergarten vocabulary, which correlated with fourth grade word reading. Teachers’ use of sophisticated vocabulary also correlated with children’s kindergarten print ability, and through that word reading skill, the early vocabulary exposure indirectly affected grade-four reading comprehension. – ‘Robust’ link between preschool, language and literacy,” Vanderbilt University.

The research is full of other interesting findings, including:

  • (Preschool) Conversations that included analysis of stories and discussion of words and teacher corrections of incorrect responses predicted receptive vocabulary at the end of kindergarten.
  • …Preschool teachers’ efforts to hold a child’s attention were related to fourth-grade comprehension skills.

Experts Debate Early Ed Video: If you are looking for something to watch this evening, some big hitters in early education policy discussed Head Start this week and you can check out a recording of their talk over at  National Institute for Early Education Research’s Steven Barnett and the Obama administration’s Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, director of the Office of Head Start at the Administration for Children and Families, were among the speakers.

I have not watched the whole event, but it seems to be worth the time.