How do children learn words?
The psychologist Paul Bloom estimates that 17-year-olds know 60,000 actual words. Looking backwards at what they have achieved, this means that, ignoring the first year of life, they have learnt 3,750 words a year or about ten a day.
We acquire the use of 10 new words per day (on average) between ages 2 and 18
slide # 48
in: Exploring Psychology, 9e
David G Myers
Worth Publishers; 9th edition (November 2, 2012)
The average student learns about 3,000 words per year in the early school years — that’s 8 words per day (Baumann & Kameenui, 1991; Beck & McKeown, 1991; Graves, 1986)
Baumann, J.F. and Kameenui, E.J. (1991). Research on vocabulary instruction: Ode To Voltaire. In J. Flood, J.J. Lapp, and J.R. Squire (Eds.), Handbook of research On teaching the English language arts (pp. 604-632). New York: MacMillan.
Beck, I.L. and McKeown, M.G. (1991). Social studies texts are hard to understand: Mediating some of the difficulties. Language Arts, 68, 482-490.
Graves, M.F. (1986). Vocabulary learning and instruction. In E.Z. Rothkopf (Ed.), Review of Research in Education, 13, 49-89.
Children can learn 860 words per year (That’s 2 words a day!)
eBook of Vocabulary Teaching and Learning Research
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Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
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How to learn vocabulary
5 Tips for Helping Students to Really Learn Vocabulary
By year 1, children are capable of understaing up to approx 20000 words
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
6 yrs 15,000 words
As many as 8 new words per day
The Guardian, 12 August 1986, cited in David Crystal, The English Language, 2002, p46