octubre 8, 2012 by Debra Gittler


Not too long ago, I observed a 2nd grade science class working on classifications. The kids raised their hands and pointed to the items they wanted categorized. «Esa,» That, said one boy pointing. The teacher tried to follow the boy’s signal and asked repeatedly what they boy referred to. «Aquella volada,» That thingy, the boy repeated exasperated.

He pointed to a bookshelf but lacked the vocabulary to say so. Simply, he didn’t know the word.

“Word deficit.” As it happens, in the ’80s, the psychologists Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley spent years cataloging the       number of words spoken to young children in dozens of families from different socioeconomic groups, and what they found was not only a disparity in the complexity of words used, but also astonishing differences in sheer number. Children of professionals were, on average, exposed to approximately 1,500 more words hourly than children growing up in poverty. This resulted in a gap of more than 32 million words by the time the children reached the age of 4.

The above is an excerpt from today’s New York Times’ article Before a Test, a Poverty of Words. (Link to full article aquí.).

Recent Posts

noviembre 23, 2022

Soñando con mi gente

Por Ramel Ascencio. Ramel es un joven de la red de ConTextos quien nos comparte una poesía inspirada en El Salvador. En ella no solo…

Leer más
noviembre 10, 2022

¿Qué más se le puede pedir a un libro?

Por Daniela Raffo Las hicimos el año pasado y fueron un éxito, así que las repetimos: un sábado al mes el Teatro Luis Poma abre…

Leer más
octubre 27, 2022

No es solo estar triste

Por Elizabeth Campos, joven de la red de ConTextos. Ya han pasado más de cinco años que intento salir adelante, la gente puede tomar a…

Leer más