Study: Being Prepared for Kindergarten Leads to Academic Success in the Future

Category: Education/Family

Listening

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. get off to a good start / gɛt ɔf tʊ ə gʊd stɑrt / (idiom) – to be successful at the beginning of something
    Example:

    My school’s basketball team got off to a good start but got defeated at the end of the match.


  2. motor / ˈmoʊ tər / (adj) – relating to the control and movement of the muscles
    Example:

    My little cousin has poor motor skills, so he visits a therapist every two weeks.


  3. long-term / ˈlɔŋˌtɜrm / (adj) – lasting or involving a long period of time
    Example:

    The accident had long-term effects on her health.


  4. substance abuse / ˈsʌb stəns əˈbyus / (n) – the act of depending on or taking too much addictive substances like drugs or tobacco
    Example:

    There are support groups and health centers that help people recover from substance abuse.


  5. drop out / drɒp aʊt / (phrasal) – to stop going to school before completing one’s studies
    Example:

    My cousin was 15 when he dropped out of school to become a full-time actor.


Article

Read the text below.

A study from the University of Montreal suggests that children who get off to a good start in kindergarten are more likely to become successful later in life.


Previous research has shown that attending preschool helps boost children’s academic advantages when they enter kindergarten. In the new study, researchers looked at how developing a child’s cognitive, social, and motor skills before kindergarten can affect their long-term success.


The researchers gathered data from 2,000 children born in 1997 or 1998. They evaluated the children’s vocabulary and math skills during kindergarten. They also assessed reports from teachers describing the children’s social and emotional state in class. Then, the researchers followed up on the participants’ mental and emotional state, academic performance, and physical health in their last year in high school.


Findings showed that children who showed excellent math skills at age five were less likely to commit substance abuse or drop out of high school. They were also more successful academically.


Additionally, children who were more socially engaged during kindergarten were physically healthier toward the end of high school. The study found that they were more likely to be physically active by age 17, which reduced their chance of being overweight.


The researchers hope that through this study, people will see the significance of preparing children for kindergarten. They advised governments to implement policies that enhance children’s early skills, like providing quality childcare and promoting a safe environment at home.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Why do you think some children are not well-prepared for kindergarten? Explain.

• How can parents ensure that their children are well-prepared for kindergarten (e.g. enroll them in preschool, spend more time with them)? Discuss.


Discussion B

• In your opinion, what skills should children develop early on (e.g. academic skills, communication skills)? Why?

• How can children develop these skills (e.g. watching educational shows, playing with other children)? Discuss.