Disseminate | Events | Conferences & Convenings

Washington, DC Convening: Bridging the Thirty-Million-Word Gap

October 04, 2013

Bridging the Thirty-Million-Word Gap* was a convening organized by the Thirty Million Words Initiative at the University of Chicago and held in Washington, DC at the 20th F Street NW Conference Center on October 4, 2013.

Studies show that by the time children from low-income households reach the age of three, they will have heard 30-million-fewer total words and engaged in fewer back-and-forth conversations than their more affluent peers – a gap that is later associated with disparities in language development, school readiness, and long-term educational outcomes of students.

The purpose of this invitation-only convening was to bring together researchers, practitioners, funders, policy-makers and thought leaders from around the country to explore the disparities in early language and vocabulary skills between children from high and low socio-economic backgrounds from infancy through the early years of life and consider the evidence behind caregiver interventions and other solutions designed to bridge the early language gap.

The day’s agenda was designed to facilitate cross-sector conversations about cutting- edge research, interventions and technologies that could be implemented at a national level to reach the large numbers of families and children who are among America’s most affected by the impact of a language deficit.

Conference Organizers:

  • Thirty Million Words Initiative at the University of Chicago
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services
  • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation
  • United States Department of Education

Learn more on the conference website.

*Like many others in the field, in the decade since this convening, we have moved away from emphasizing a quantified word gap.