Socioeconomic status greatly impacts mental and physical factors, such as language development, reading, and academic success. It is undeniable that poverty leads to disparities in reading and language development. Research has consistently demonstrated that poverty levels are associated with a decrease in phonological awareness, vocabulary, and syntax throughout the various stages of development. But what causes those disparities, and how can we as teachers help fix this issue? In this piece, we will discuss this in further detail, as it is important to understand the issues of poverty in reading and language development within our society.
There are two main concerns when it comes to poverty and its effects on reading and language development. The first concern deals with family or parental emotional distress that affects the daily lives of low socioeconomic parents and families. The second concern deals with parental involvement and how the lack of ability to assist or attend to their children’s basic needs affects their learning ability.
Family or Parental Emotional Distress
Family or parental emotional distress has a great impact on the physical and mental health of children and their learning abilities. Likewise, low income parents have a great deal of stress from work or the lack of work as well as stress from not having enough money to pay for basic necessities such as rent, food, or clothing. In turn, this emotional distress leads to harsher, more authoritarian parenting methods, which can lead to fewer chances for nurturing and affectionate encounters. As a result, children become distressed and emotionally affected, leading to poor academic skills in reading and language development.
Parental Involvement is crucial in the academic success of their children. Parents who are involved in the education of their children make a positive impact in their reading and language development. However, low socioeconomic parents often don’t have time to assist their children in the acquisition of their basic needs. Despite low-income parents wanting to be involved in their children’s education, it can be difficult if they lack the basic knowledge, language skills, time, or money to get their children help.
Recommendations for Reading and Language Development
Research demonstrates that poverty has grossly adverse effects on the reading and language skills of low socioeconomic children. However, there are ways that teachers can help combat against the negative effects of poverty. The Latino Literacy Project offers school staff a new culturally competent framework, research, and tips to support parental involvement with Latino immigrant parents and their children to develop a home reading routine with activities to support reading comprehension, new vocabulary skills, and new language skills for academic success.
Lectura Books publishes multicultural books for English and Spanish learners and can customize library collections for schools.
Issues of Poverty in Reading and Language Development