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Literacy news

Children with too few words at age two 'risk future problems'

24 Feb 2012

Toddlers at the age of two who have a vocabulary of less than 50 words are at risk of developmental problems that can persist into later life according to scientists who have devised a speech test for young children.

Most two-year-olds have a vocabulary of between 75 and 225 words but a minority of less than 15 per cent are "late talkers" who do not use more than 50 words, said Professor Leslie Rescorla of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

A study that identified late talkers at the age of two found that at the age of 17 they continued to perform less well in language tests compared to other children, even though they had no other developmental problems. On starting school most of them were performing in the average range but by the age of 17, the same children performed significantly less well on all the language measures for children of the same age and backgrounds.

Read the full article on The Independent.

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