The Core of Higher Math and Science Scores, ‘Conversation’

In the late 1980s, Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, conducted a special experiment on 129 children who were younger than their peers who live in low-income areas.

After randomly dividing these children into four groups, the first group was given psychological encouragement, the second group was nutrition support, the third group was both psychological encouragement and nutritional support, and the last group had no prescription.

Here, psychological encouragement is a program in which a social worker who is trained visits an infant family every hour every week and develops language by letting mothers communicate more with their children and making sure that mother and child have self-esteem. In contrast, nutritional supplements focus on helping malnutrition, which may have led to late growth.

After two years of experimentation, the children who participated in the program compared their wages about 20 years later when they were 22. As a result, the group who received the psychological encouragement prescription had about 40% higher income than the group that did not receive the psychological encouragement. On the other hand, the nutritional supplement group showed no significant difference from the psychological encouraging group. As a result, conversation was more important than rice.

The above article is based on the statistical data analyzed carefully. According to him, the children of professional families hear an average of 2100 words per hour, while the working households hear about 1200 words and the households that receive welfare receive about 600 words. In other words, until the age of three, a poor child is less than 32 million words less than a wealthy child.

The result of the research in 1995, there is a completely different conclusion

The second important difference was the use of positive expressions to praise and encourage child behavior and the use of negative expressive ways to control and suppress child behavior. The researchers said that the difference in the percentage of positive and negative speech affects children’s personality traits and self-consciousness.

The result of this study has become a myth since it has stiffened to the present 20 years later. Many experts also cite the results of this study and argue that the ability to read and write later depends on how many words you hear and grow as a child.

However, a recent study by Douglas Sperry, a psychologist at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in the United States, recalls the work of 1995 and draws attention with a completely different conclusion.

In other words, the number of words or vocabulary that children hear in conversations with their parents appears to be no different between rich and poor families. In addition, if parents include the story of the surrounding adults who are heard over their shoulders in addition to the words they give directly to the child, the low-income children will hear more various words than the children who grow up in middle-class families.

For example, 2500 words per hour are exposed to children in the middle-class and above, while conversations over the shoulders of children growing up in low-income families in Alabama have an average of 3200 words per hour.

In the case of low-income families, the researchers interpreted that many adults, including their close relatives, are often cared for by many children, and that they are more likely to have siblings born earlier.

The more children who are in childhood talk with adults, the better their intelligence and language cognitive abilities. According to a recent paper published in the American Journal of Pediatrics, IQ, language comprehension, and word expression abilities are 14 to 27 percent higher for children who have grown up in conversation with adults and those who have not. In addition, there are researches that children who have raised a lot of conversation have higher math and science scores.

Communicating with each other helps language development

There is one rule here, though. It is pointed out that the dialogue with each other rather than simply the amount of the language to be heard helps the development of the brain and language ability.

Researchers at MIT, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania have tested four to six-year-olds with brain scanners, natural language processing systems, and standardized tests to find that communication is more relevant to brain activation and achievement It turned out.

The results of this study were not related to parents‘ income or educational level. In other words, high-income children with low exchange of conversation showed low achievement in language ability and brain response, while low-income children who had many conversation exchanges showed higher achievement.