I just saw a post by a friend on Facebook about the best and worst habits of people with a high IQ. One of the best habits was that they read. Along with it was a blurb that caught my attention. If you read just 15 minutes a day, by the end of the year, you will have exposed yourself to 1 million words!
When I was teaching middle school, I read an article on vocabulary acquisition that was very startling. Only 20% of vocabulary acquisition is through direct instruction. The other 80% is acquired through reading. Is there any doubt that each generation seems to sound more and more unintelligent as reading takes a bench seat over video games and social media?
Surely you have noticed that avid readers usually have a better vocabulary. It’s true, and it’s inevitable. Am I the only one who finds that I start using words like the characters in the stories I read? You can always tell when I’m reading Jane Austen. My language adapts to the cadence and vocabulary of that time period for a while. It’s actually probably pretty annoying.
Anyhow, my point I ponder is concerning the chicken and the egg. Is it really that a person reads because he is smart, or is a person more intelligent because he reads? I am more inclined to believe the later.