Our Secret Formula

Researchers agree that instilling a love of words early on can set your child up for academic excellence. Children with a grasp of fewer words are likely to struggle and fall behind. Whereas those with an above average vocabulary by year 5, will have a clear advantage that persists until adulthood.

Key Summary Points from Academic Research on Vocabulary

  • Children who are more proficient with words at primary school perform better academically in all subjects including maths.
  • Discussing words with children will help them to understand and use words correctly. Doing so in a very informal setting at mealtimes when the whole family sits down together is ideal.
  • The more often a child hears a particular word in context, the more he or she will come to understand its meanings and nuances.
  • It is easier for children to remember the precise meaning of a word when it is associated with another word, an entertaining story, or a memorable picture. Learning by rote is dull, unimaginative and ineffective.
  • Teachers can achieve more with our children at school, if we support them at home through active and entertaining vocabulary development.

Read the full report here

Decades of vocabulary and reading research support our methods

Home Supports Learning

Engaging products used every day in households so it doesn’t feel like homework.

Spaced Repetition

At least 6 exposures to a word are needed to own it.

Context Cements Meaning

Stories, characters and clusters of related words help kids learn faster.

Humour Keeps Kids Coming Back

We’ve teamed up with some of the funniest people in Hollywood.

Visuals Quickly Clarify Meaning

Pictures help kids learn and retain words faster.

Relevant and Creative Words

Key words from children’s literature enrich their use of language.


The experts

Lesley A. Sand PhD.  

Our Curriculum Director is a cognitive neuroscientist from University of Maryland, specialising in brain mechanisms related to language and emotional processing. Her research also includes reading and vocabulary development in children with and without learning disabilities and training teachers to teach phonics.

Professor Paul Thompson

Senior Lecturer Deputy Director, Centre for Corpus Research Professor Thompson has extensive experience in corpus linguistics, building dictionaries a specialisation in language and literature and children’s reading development. In particular, he worked on a government funded ERSC project (R000223900), 'An investigation into corpus-based learning about language in the primary school', June 2002 to May 2004. He is also the co-Editor of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes.