Parent construct: Cognitive development
A full, rich vocabulary is vital to young people’s successful development. It reflects their knowledge of the world and is fundamental to their later learning and cognitive abilities. Success on all of the common standardized tests of achievement requires a strong vocabulary. Children with big vocabularies learn to read more easily and become better readers.1 Verbal skills also are important for children’s social success.2
Parents can make a huge difference in building their children’s language skills. Talking to your infants or young children, using every moment as a teaching opportunity, and listening to them will get them off to a good start. Tell them about every aspect of the world that you and your child encounter. Read to them; books are a great way to build their vocabulary and teach them about how the world works and how people relate to each other. As they get older, encourage them to read on their own.
Nation, K. (2009). Reading comprehension and vocabulary: What's the connection? In R.K.Wagner, C. Schatschneider, C. Phythian-Sence (Eds.), Beyond decoding: The behavioral and biological foundations of reading comprehension (pp. 176-194). New York: Guilford. ↩
Cohen, J.S. & Mendez, J.L. (2009). Emotion regulation, language ability, and the stability of preschool children's peer play behavior.Early Education and Development, 20, 1016-1037. ↩