05 December 2021

The centrality of spoken language to developing literacy and numeracy skills

Today, I CAN alongside the Oracy All Party Parliamentary Group and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, publishes a Policy Position Statement on the centrality of spoken language to developing literacy and numeracy skills. Overall, it finds that understanding and using spoken language is vital to learning the skills which children need to have success for their education in those key areas. 

The statement also sets out how children in areas of social disadvantage are at greater risk of having poorer language skills and therefore poorer literacy and numeracy, and poorer long-term outcomes.  The pandemic has exacerbated these issues, leaving children of all ages behind in their spoken language.

There are solutions. These include teacher training; improved identification of difficulties; better student and teacher support; recognition of the vital role that developing children’s spoken language and communication plays and creating longer-term strategies for speaking in children’s education recovery following the pandemic.

The statement reflects our views on these major policy areas. We will continue working with MPs and the Government to improve the situation for learning spoken language so that children can thrive both during school and after leaving it. 



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