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Prekindergarten classroom language environments and children's vocabulary skills


The number of adult words children hear and conversational turns they experience are key aspects of their language environments. The current study examined variability in language environments throughout 2 prekindergarten days and variability within and between classrooms for 44 children (Mage = 4.77 years) in 11 classrooms in the United States. In addition, the study examined to what extent prekindergarten language environments are associated with children's vocabulary skills. Language environments varied considerably throughout the prekindergarten day and between classrooms, although children within the same prekindergarten classrooms had generally similar experiences. Conversational turns were more robustly associated with children's vocabulary skills than were adult words heard even when only examining within-classroom variability. Implications for understanding prekindergarten classroom language experiences and their associations with vocabulary skills are discussed. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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