Early language skills ‘key to later success’

The BBC is reporting a new study for Save the Children that suggests children with poor language skills at age five are significantly more likely to struggle with maths at age 11.

It found 21% of pupils who struggled with language as they began school, failed to meet the expected standards in national tests when they left…

Academics at the Institute of Education analysed the progress of 5,000 children using data from the Millennium Cohort Study and the National Pupil Database in England.

23% of children who struggled with language at age five, did not reach the expected standard in their Sats (national tests) at age 11, the study found…

Gareth Jenkins, from Save the Children, says the research demonstrates for the first time the most crucial determinant of success in Sats tests is how well children can communicate when they start school.

The poorest children are more likely to start school without simple skills, such as being able to tell a short story, express feelings and communicate easily with a wide range of adults

The charity says the research should prompt a national debate about how to drive up the quality of nursery provision.

More at Early language skills ‘key to later success’

 

I haven’t seen the original study (anyone got a link?), but could there be a case of something that is a correlation being treated as a cause by Save the Children here?

What do you make of the apparent study findings?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Pre-school, Primary and Research.

Comments

  1. The report could be ‘Ready to Read: England’  http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/sites/default/files/docs/Ready_to_Read_England.pdf (there are also report for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) published last year.  The BBC was featuring the Save the Children Reading Campaign on the news yesterday – the charity appears to be using this to keep up momentum.

  2. jelly2tot

    SchoolsImprove as mum with children with early language delay totally agree that language skills key to better future outcomes academically

  3. CherylSalmon

    Anyone who has small boys around will know that boys relate to gadgets like ipads which stop them from developing oral language skills. Parents need to limit the time they spend on their phones, too – it’s horrifying how often you see a parent pushing a small child in a push chair, messing about on their smartphone and completely ignoring the small person instead of talking to them. 
    A school I am working with has implemented an excellent programme which helps develop language skills for EYFS and KS1 which is having good impact.

  4. CherylSalmon Part of the problem (as well as parents finding their smartphones more interesting than their children) is the design of baby carriages.   These invariably face forwards rather than backwards towards the person pushing the carriage.   Backward-facing pushchairs encourage communication between child and carer.

  5. CherylSalmon Part of the problem (as well as parents finding their smartphones more interesting than their children) is the design of baby carriages.   These invariably face forwards rather than backwards towards the person pushing the carriage.   Backward-facing pushchairs encourage communication between child and carer.

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