LearnLog: 30 Million Word Gap and Why You Should Talk to Your Kids a Lot

From Support children’s learning by talking with them over a book

Almost two decades ago, in 1995, Hart & Risley published the results of a landmark study [1] that linked success in school at age nine to the amount of talk they hear from birth to age three.  The actual difference in the amount of words children hear is astonishing; successful children heard on average 8 million more words per year than their struggling peers, leading to what was termed the “30 million word gap” by the time they turn four.

I was just lucky to chance upon an SVForum Event in Santa Clara. A friend who runs the Digital SIG invited me. The talk was given by the founder of Kindoma. It was fascinating to listen to his journey.  Here are some highlights:

  • Kindoma is made up of two words German words-  Kind and Oma. Kind in German means “the kid” and Oma stands for grandma. Kindoma’s mission is to connects kids and their grandparents to benefit both.
  • One stat Tico (the founder of Kindoma) showed was that grand parents spend over 16B dollars for their grand kids.
  • Kindoma was a research project in Nokia and later became an independent company.
  • Tico explained how they went through research prototypes (two of them) and how they learned the behavior of families – kids, parents, grandparents and how they used their knowledge to build their products.
  • In US on an average grand parents are more than 200 miles away from their grand kids (and several thousands for many immigrant families).
  • The current mode of connection is phone or skype. Tico showed videos of actual interactions using each mode and discussed the issues with each one of them

Other Related Posts

Kindoma – a few slides

3 thoughts on “LearnLog: 30 Million Word Gap and Why You Should Talk to Your Kids a Lot

  1. Reblogged this on Aiaioo Labs Blog and commented:
    Dorai writes about a curious connection between how well a child does in school at age 9 and the amount of language a child is exposed to by age three.

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