The Incredible Years® Blog


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Young Children’s Vocabulary Skills Predicted by Economic Factors (Follow up)

Hello friends!

Earlier this week we shared a guest post from Peter Loft, Certified Incredible Years Trainer. Mr. Loft discussed his response to an article in the NY Times which asserted the value of early childhood education in connection to reducing economic inequality, poverty, and crime.

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For those interested in this topic, we would like to share some further reading. Motoko Rich wrote an article just a few days prior to Kristoff’s article, titled “Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K.”

This article examines new research from Anne Fernald, who found that young children from affluent families had far more advanced vocabularies than those from economically disadvantaged families. This gap began in children as young as 18 months old.

These studies and recent articles highlight the importance of early education and verbal interaction with very young children. Next week, we will begin a series of three guest posts from Incredible Years developer Carolyn Webster-Stratton. This series will provide in depth discussion and tips for reading with young children at various developmental stages (babies, toddlers, and preschool).

Stay tuned!

~The Incredible Years Team

 

Reference

Fernald, A., Marchman, V. A. and Weisleder, A. (2013), SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months. Developmental Science, 16: 234–248. doi: 10.1111/desc.12019


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Guest Blog: IY Trainer response to NY Times Article on Early Education

We are excited to have Peter Loft, Incredible Years Certified Trainer, guest blogging for us today! Peter provides a response to an article published in the New York Times (October 27th) which discusses the importance of early childhood education as a means to address economic inequality, poverty and crime in the United States.

Response to “Do We Invest in Preschools or Prisons?” (written by Nicolas Kristof)

By: Peter Loft, MSW

peter_wallyPeter Loft, with Wally

New York Times’ Op-Ed article, “Do we Invest in Preschools or Prisons?” by Nicolas Kristoff (published Sunday, Oct. 27th, 2013) is a good read.  He makes a compelling case for early child education, and emphasizes actually working with families much younger than preschool is the way to go!  He also refers to the ground breaking research by Hart and Risley, on the importance of verbal interaction with adults for young children, as having  a significant correlation towards better academic outcomes and life skills over time. For those interested in learning more about Hart & Risley’s research, you can click here for the original article (published 1968) or you can view a more recent article which was published online earlier this year.

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I reflect back on 20 years of Incredible Years and love the fact that all of our programs include a huge emphasis on dialogic reading in age appropriate ways, and descriptive commenting focusing on academic, persistence, social and emotional competence. It is a great reminder to us all that the simple ongoing strategies are often some of the most powerful ones we can offer to families, teachers, and caregivers everywhere.