Language Dancing

“Language Dancing” is a term given life in research by Hart and Risley and referred to by Clayton M. Christensen in two of his books, How Will You Measure Your Life? and Disrupting Class.

There is a strong connection between those children who experience language dancing and improved learning capacity. Hart and Risley’s research suggests that it is not “income, ethnicity, or parents’ education” (How … p. 97) that is “the key to cognitive advantage” (ibid), but it is language dancing.

Language dancing is the extra talk that parents engage in with their children. “Language dancing is not talking about more business. It is talking about ‘what ifs,’ ‘do you remember,’ ‘shouldn’t you,’ ‘wouldn’t it be better if,’ and so on. These often take the form of questions that invite infants to think deeply about what is happening around them,” (Disrupting … p. 150).

Children who are exposed to language dancing hear approximately 48 million words in the first three years of life. Children who are not exposed to language dancing hear 13 million words in that same time period.

“This matters…. The effect on brain cells is exponential,” (How … p. 96).

If the above is true … teachers, what changes would make in your classrooms?

About drjstewart

Educator, writer, and photographer
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