Reading, talking boosts children’s vocabulary

Professor Sharon Goldfeld has urged parents to read and talk with their children from an early age, while their brains are developing, to boost their language and literacy skills.

“When children’s brains are developing, that’s the time we can really make a difference”, Professor Goldfeld said.

“If you’re reading to your child, even if you’re just looking at the pictures and having a discussion with them about the story you’re helping their vocabulary.

Professor Goldfeld’s comments follow the release of a new Policy Brief from the Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language exploring the evidence around developmental language disorders in children.

Around five to eight per cent of children have a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), a condition where a child has difficulties understanding and/or producing language and these difficulties impact on their everyday life.

Early language problems are shown to be associated with externalising (e.g. physical aggression) and internalising (e.g. anxiety) mental health problems.

Researchers have called for DLDs to be considered a public health problem.

More information

Professor Sharon Goldfeld is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Co-Group Leader, Policy Equity and Translation, at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and a Chief Investigator of the Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language.

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