30,000 words a day

According to a study undertaken by Infoture, children who at least 30,000 words a day from their parents and other people around are likely to excel academically as they grow up.

The study found that children who heard at least 33 million words (30,000 a day) from birth the age of 3 tend to have higher IQs at the age of 10 than those who hear fewer words. The study also found that television viewing tends to significantly decrease the amount of conversation in a home, which negatively effects children’s language and academic development.

Infoture has developed a system called LENA (Language ENvironment Analysis system) which provides parents with information about their children’s language environment such as the number of words spoken by parents and children.

This entry was posted in Language, Language acquisition.

7 Responses to 30,000 words a day

  1. Polly says:

    Interesting, so, even though TV provides plenty of talk, the child only benefits from talk from those around it. That fits in nicely with my little “theory” which I won’t spell out again so as to avoid sounding like a broken record.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I don’t think this is any shocker – but I think what they really mean to say is that interaction with other human beings increases IQ. Not necessarily hearing words.

    You could sit a baby in times square and he’d hear the words all in a day. He wouldn’t be smarter for it though.


  3. Voytec says:

    I think it’s both, Stephanie. That baby in times square would still be much smarter than a baby that have heard no language at all.

    By the way, great blog Simon!

  4. BG says:

    If sitting in Times Square helped then so would sitting in front of the TV. I think the interaction is necessary since the television hurts.

  5. Voytec says:

    Interaction with your parents is most important thing – no doubt about it. But I wouldn’t say the quality of the interaction doesn’t matter and that TV would have no impact at all on children language skills. What if the parents use very simple language and limited vocabulary? Would it have equal impact to parents using very diverse language?

    And what about emotional developement? I can imagine that people who had spoken most in the study would have generally spend more time with their children. Maybe child performance in later life is related to how the ‘good’ the childhood was more than to the sole language issues?

    I don’t think TV is a problem. The problem is that people are lazy, treat it as a cheap nanny and let their children to spend to much time in front of the TV. How much different would it be to watch it with their children and talking to them about what is happening there?

    Anyway, I am not trying to say that TV is good for children! I am sure that children under 3 should spend very little or no time in front of the TV…

  6. Dcelan says:

    I agree with Voytec. Fiirstly, it’s interaction not words that matter, as evidenced by the fact that television does not do much for children under three.
    And also, IQ is a measure of a very limited type of thinking, and it can be learned. It’s very possible to increase your IQ by twenty, and the ways of measuring it vary hugely (MENSA results generally come out ten higher that everybody else). Also, it doesn’t take account of sports interaction, or activities.
    A much better measure in my opinion (although very subjective) is the confidence of the child at 4 or 5, their linguistic ability and their ability to interact with their environment. It’s obvious at 4 or 5, which children have been interacted with all the time, and those that haven’t.

  7. Randy says:

    How many words on average does a person speak in a day?

    I now fear my children are going to grow up dumb. I’m a rather quiet soul. Hopefully my wife will be more of a talker.

    Curious, this interest of mine in languages, since I barely use the one I know.

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