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Language-savvy parents are more likely to have children with higher reading scores and are also more attentive when kids read out loud to them, according to a study.

Children learning to read and write English often need to identify patterns in words to be able to read and spell them, said researchers from Concordia University in Canada.

For example, knowing the “Magic E” syllable pattern can allow a child to understand why an E at the end of a word like “rate” significantly alters the word’s sound from “rat”. Parents who understand such language complexity are able to spot the difficulties and explain them, researchers said. They also pass on those skills when they listen to their children read, which in turn helps reading development.

The results of the study, published in the Journal of Research in Reading, confirmed that parents with higher reading-related knowledge offered more praise and less criticism to their children than those with lower reading-related knowledge. “Teachers with high reading-related knowledge are better equipped to offer feedback to their students,” said Aviva Segal from Concordia University.