What is it about?

By the time children reach grade four, they are thought to be exposed to most new words while reading. In this study, word reading skills in fourth grade predicted the rate of growth of vocabulary between fourth and tenth grade. This effect was largely because of children with above average word reading skills in fourth grade. This was true even when we took into account how well children learned words before they had learned to read. This is evidence for a type of "Matthew effect" in which the "rich" (in reading) get "richer" (in vocabulary).

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Why is it important?

These results support the idea that reading is an important context for vocabulary growth.

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This page is a summary of: The Influence of Reading on Vocabulary Growth: A Case for a Matthew Effect, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, June 2015, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/2015_jslhr-l-13-0310.
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