Too Small to Fail Partners with Univision to Help Close Word Gap
On Tuesday, February 4, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Univision Communications Inc. President and CEO Randy Falco announced a partnership between Univision and Too Small to Fail. The announcement, which took place at a bilingual Head Start preschool program in East Harlem, New York City, marks the beginning of a multi-year partnership to help Hispanic parents and caregivers get information about early brain development, early learning, and efforts and strategies to close the word gap.
Research shows that Hispanic children are much less likely to have a parent or other family members read, sing, or tell stories to them every day. But fewer words heard daily means fewer words in a child’s vocabulary, and the partnership, titled “Pequeños y Valiosos” (Young and Valuable) will encourage Spanish-speaking parents and caregivers to talk, read, and sing with their children in order to develop their language and vocabulary skills.
“It’s important for parents to see themselves as teachers,” said Daniela, mother of a three-year-old girl who attends the preschool, during a roundtable discussion at the announcement event. “My daughter can speak several languages because we have taught her. She learns from us first.”
Recent focus groups among Spanish speaking parents have highlighted that many are concerned about language fluency, in particular if their children speak only Spanish. However, researchers agree that baby and young toddlers need to hear many words every day—no matter the language—in order to create important neural pathways in their brains that build their emotional, social, and cognitive skills.
For dual language learners (children who learn more than one language), fluency in the home language can pave the way for learning English. Babies and young children have a high capacity for language, and can learn more than one language without any problems, even if there is a short-term delay. In fact, new research shows that dual language learners often score higher in memory, creativity, and problem-solving.
“Pequeños y Valiosos” will offer fact sheets, tips and special content for parents and caregivers on a new feature section of Univision’s website.
- For Spanish speakers: hablar dos idiomas no es un impedimento, de Univision.
- Frequently asked questions about dual language learning, from Zero to Three.
In The News:
- “Clinton To Encourage Reading in Hispanic Families. “ Associated Press. February 4, 2014.
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Watch The Video From Univision
Watch Barbara Bermudo, award-winning Univision news anchor, talk about the importance of talking, reading and singing to your children (in Spanish). >>