Teaching your preschooler a few extra words could be setting them up for a lifetime of academic success, a study suggests.
A study of almost 900 four-year-olds found those with larger vocabularies were more engaged with teachers and other children when they later started education.
Researchers tested the youngsters’ abilities in the autumn and then checked in on them when they started school the following spring.
The researchers say their findings show how even small differences in a child’s early years can have a large impact on their chances of academic success.
They also hope the findings will help teachers identify children with smaller vocabularies when they start school for more support with their learning.
The authors also noted that children who have learned to control impulsive behaviour before starting school also performed better in class
Study lead author Qingqing Yang, an early education expert at Ohio State University in the United States, said the team’s findings demonstrated the impact of setting up young children for classroom success.
‘This study demonstrated that the levels of vocabulary skills and inhibitory control that children exhibit in the autumn of the preschool years matter for their classroom engagement in different ways,’ she said.