Many parents and educators would like to give less structure and more play during children’s primary years. A new study has been conducted at University of Washington indicating that along with math and reading, language skills should also be reinforced. Not only does learning elementary math and reading skills foster future success in children, but grammar and vocabulary programs during preschool and kindergarten years will bring about future proficiency in other subjects too.
According to Amy Pace, an assistant professor in UW Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, language supports not only academic, but social success as well. Past studies have kept their focus on math, science and literacy but never considered how much language may play a part. The results point to language also being a great predictor of social as well as academic success.
Researchers in this study assessed skills and milestones of the child before entering in areas of health, reading, math social/emotional skills prior to entering preschool and evaluated success into later years from first to fifth grades. Reading ability in kindergarten predicted reading, math and language skills later on and math proficiency correlated with math and reading performance over time.
Researchers expected to find that the effects of kindergarten readiness would wear off by the third grade but the studies found that childrens’ success in kindergarten predicted their success from grades three through five. These findings were consistent in multiple areas like math, reading and language. This was proof that bolstering children’s learning in their formative years carries long term academic success. Interaction of children with family, teachers and caregivers built on strong communication foundations could be a bedrock for future success.