Mary French

Executive Director - The Dictionary Project

Mary French

Executive Director - The Dictionary Project

Biography

Speaker: Mary French
Co-Author: Matthew Duke

Utilization of Dictionaries to bolster shrinking vocabulary among American populous

By democratizing the dictionary industry with online resources, we can bridge the gap of diction between professional working households and low-income households. The introduction and continued exposure of dictionaries on the youth will not alleviate the problem entirely, but provide a bridge to aid our students falling behind in early educational environments, where early success is critical. A dictionary is an essential tool for a quality education. A child cannot do his or her best work without one.

2019 marked a paradigm shift for American Scholarship; the NAEP, colloquially known as the Nation’s Report Card, has noted that the Reading and Vocabulary scores for students has been either stagnant or decreasing[1]. This gap between adolescent students’ vocabulary, reading comprehension scores is directly tied to the US Education system’s precipitous decline in global rankings[2]. But there are home-grown issues associated with a decline in vocabulary.
The seminole 1995 study by Hart-Risely, Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children, highlights the critical importance of diction in upward mobility[3]. It details a ‘30 Million’ word gap between students of different socio-economic backgrounds — Professional and Working Class. When upward mobility is tied to the choice and use of words and phrases in speech and writing and access to reading resources, it is essential that we work to ameliorate the issue

By democratizing the dictionary industry with online resources, we can bridge the gap of diction between professional working households and low-income households. The introduction and continued exposure of dictionaries on the youth will not alleviate the problem entirely, but provide a bridge to aid our students falling behind in early educational environments, where early success is critical. A dictionary is an essential tool for a quality education. A child cannot do his or her best work without one.