Reading’s Positive Impact on Language Development

From Language Magazine (August 2011):

parentsROR (or more properly, RORA, for Reach Out and Read Aloud) has been shown to increase the frequency of reading aloud in low-income families and results in substantial gains in vocabulary, especially in receptive vocabulary. It requires only a modest investment in time and material (books), but results so far indicate that it can substantially help close the equity gap in literacy, the difference in literacy competence between children from high and low-income families.

This is a contrast to the much more expensive and elaborate solutions currently under consideration, thus far lacking in clear empirical support (e.g. The LEARN Act, see Krashen, 2010). The results also mean that we need to pay more attention to the obvious and well-attested means of increasing literacy, read-alouds (Trelease, 2006), and continue to study the effects of ROR as well as similar projects (e.g. Imagination Literacy and Book Trust), the latter providing books to older children. It also means reversing the current trend of defunding libraries, a major source of books for readers of all ages.

Read Dr. Stephen Krashen’s entire article 

Stephen Krashen is an expert in the field of linguistics, specializing in theories of language acquisition and development. Much of his research has involved the study on non-English and bilingual language acquisition. Recently Dr. Krashen’s research has focused on reading and its effects on language acquisition and academic success. During the past 20 years, he has published hundreds of books and articles and has been invited to deliver over 500 lectures at universities throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

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