Now, chapter 6, the authors, Christensen, Horn and Johnson are discussing a thing they have termed "language dancing." It seems that research has shown that children in the ghetto are spoken to as infants, a rate on average of 600 words per hour. Children in upper class households are spoken to at a rate of from 1,500 to 2100 words per hour, and much of the exchange isn't in the form of "business language," as in "Put that down," or "what do you want?" but in exchange at an adult level related to evaluation of things, hopes, desires and reflection on events, that the authors call "language dancing".
Interestingly, the most powerful of these words, in terms of subsequent cognitive achievements, seemed to be those that were spoken in the first year of life--when there was no visible evidence that the child could understand what the parents were saying. The children whose parents did not begin speaking seriously to their children until their children could speak, at roughly age 12 months, suffered a persistent deficit in *intellectual capacity*, compared to those whose parents were talkative from the beginning.(*intellectual capacity as understood in the narrow definition, based on standardized testing of linguistic intelligence.*)So we have a system in place which evaluates, measures and thus determines children's success based on their linguistic comprehension, while those currently in poverty are caught in a cultural chasm from which emergence is based on energizing the linguistic exchange rate at the most basic household level. Let me assure you that hands-on creativity and capacity are also encouraged or discouraged at the youngest age... by activities present in the household. It would certainly be best if children were talked to enough to develop their vocabularies and literal comprehension and engagement, and it would make sense for their creative capacities to be encouraged as well. You wonder how to do that? Throw out the TV. Engage with your child in making things. The linguistic exchange that takes place during the exercise will push your child's linguistic capacities over the top. Cook, make, create, plant, sew, fix. It will give you and your infant a lot to dance about.