The 30 Million Word Gap

The Role of Parent-Child Verbal Interaction in Language and Literacy Development

By The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

January 11, 2014


In 1995, research showed a link between kids’ school success and how much their parents talked to them.  This brief presents supporting data correlating the low income/high income achievement gap to parenting skills and differences in the quality and quantity of verbal interaction received as a young child. 

Key Takeaway

Conversation builds reading and thinking skills

By engaging in frequent conversation, parents can help develop their child’s vocabulary and critical thinking skills in preparation for school. Research shows that variations in parenting and, in turn, child development, are associated with social, economic and educational backgrounds.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations