I CAN’s response to ‘Why Closing the Word Gap Matters’ report

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I CAN’s response to ‘Why Closing the Word Gap Matters’ report

Putting children’s poor vocabulary in the spotlight, Oxford Language Report’s ‘Why Closing the Word Gap Matters’ report really brings to the forefront the critical issue of children’s poor language. The opening paragraph summarises the issue, “Language opens doors…In schools, and it underpins progress, impacts on attainment throughout primary and secondary years, affects self-esteem and behaviour and plays a huge role in a child’s future life chances”.

The Bercow: Ten Years On review found that too few people understood this. Spoken language is not prominent in policy and practice for children and young people. There is no programme for speaking and listening in the school curriculum and no statutory requirement to report on children’s spoken language after age 5. As the report shows, too many children live with poor language which has an impact on their learning and life chances.

I CAN welcomes the fact that the report highlights language as important, not just in the early years, but right through schooling. “Vocabulary skills at age 13 strongly predict both Maths and English Literature GCSE results more strongly than socio-economic background”.

Mary Hartshorne, I CAN’s Head of Evidence


For more information please contact Matt Geer, Press Officer on 020 7843 2539 or mgeer@ican.org.uk 


Notes to Editors

About I CAN:

  • I CAN is the children’s communication charity - ican.org.uk or www.talkingpoint.org.uk.
  • We are experts in helping children develop the speech, language and communication skills they need to thrive in a 21st century world.
  • Children and young people can fail to reach their potential because communication difficulties are not visible, often mistaken for something else, or not noticed at all.
  • I CAN’s mission is that no child should be left out or left behind because of a difficulty speaking or understanding. We do this through:
  • Sharing our expertise and knowledge to increase awareness of communication difficulties and inform policy making.
  • Providing resources and information for parents, families and people who work with children.
  • Providing assessments for children so that their families know what support will meet their needs.
  • Giving teachers and professionals working with children the skills to help children who struggle through our evidence-based programmes.
  • At the very heart of I CAN are our two ‘Outstanding’ special schools that give expert care and education to children with problems so severe their needs cannot be met elsewhere.

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