Bridging the Word Gap

What is the greatest investment a parent can give to its child? It is educational success. Parents here in Singapore are doing its best to ensure that their kids attain educational success. They spare no expenses when it comes to their child’s education. However, parents should know that apart from educational success, there is still one thing that they can do for their child. It is talking to them.


Talking to your child may sound simple and insignificant but you have to know that it can influence your child. A study in America determined the relation of family status vis-à-vis the child’s development. Researchers found out that word gap exist between children from underprivileged and middle-class families. According to the study, children from underprivileged class are less likely to develop vocabularies compared with their middle-class counterparts.

Underprivileged parents speak to less to their children which impede the language abilities of the child. Middle-class parents stimulate interactive speech. This is the word gap. Here in Singapore, the government is keen on making sure that every child will be developed to his/her fullest potential. So, how can we bridge the word gap? Preschools should be encouraged to give emphasis on strategies regarding language acquisition. Parents should do their best to reinforce talking in their homes.


Here are the three aspects of talking:

  • Tune in: Tuning in means listening. It is also an act connecting oneself with that is happening around. You should first listen and watch what your children are doing or saying. If you what is happening around, you will know how to engage to your children.
  • Talk more: You talk more to your children when you scold them or when you see something wrong. It is not how you talk to your children. Talking more means your children will hear more constructive words from you. Since you want your children to have a broader vocabulary, you can talk to them by using graphic and colourful languages. Do not talk to them when something is wrong.
  • Take turns: Remember that is not about you or them. When you talk, it is about the both of you. You have to practice taking turns. Do not dominate the talk. Let your child talk and hear what they have to say. This is an efficient way to encourage your child to talk more.

There are Singaporeans parents who take talking for granted because they think it has nothing to do with the growth and development of their children. They should know better. Let this article be the wakeup call for parents.


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