Culture Post: Gift of Gab – Talkative Children Perform Better Academically

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Study Finds.

We all know that talking during class is a quick way to end up on your teacher’s bad side. However, a surprising study finds the chatty kids actually perform quite well in class. Researchers from the University of York report young children with “enhanced verbal skills” usually go on to achieve greater academic success than their less talkative classmates.

Originally, study authors set out to examine why kids born into wealthier and well-educated families often do better in school. They ended up discovering that children born into an affluent family tend to have strong language skills by the time they reach nursery school age. From there, those elevated abilities lead to higher grades throughout adolescence.

Researchers examined close to 700 British children in the study. They assessed each child’s verbal skills at the age of four and then tracked their grades through age 16.

All in all, researchers say language skills account for about 50 percent of the effect of family background on a child’s first-year school performance. As more academic years go by, that achievement gap continues to grow.

“Our findings show that a child’s learning at home when they are under five is really important to their chances of later academic success. Children from more advantaged backgrounds are more familiar before starting school with the language patterns and linguistic codes that are used in formal educational settings and are expected by teachers,” says lead study author Professor Sophie von Stumm in a university release.

“Not all children get the same start in life, but this study highlights the importance of helping parents of all backgrounds to engage with their children in activities which enhance verbal skills – such as reading bedtime stories and engaging the child in conversations,” she continues. “Activities designed to improve verbal skills boost cognitive, social, and emotional development, in addition to benefitting parent-child bonding.”

The study was published in the journal Child Development.

Source: Study Finds

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Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, editor, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord Culture Blog also appears on Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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