Somerset Storyfest blog Jacqueline Harvey

Recently there was a very concerning article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the decline in children’s vocabularies. The statistics quoted were staggering and based on pre-pandemic results (so we can’t blame Covid for the numbers). ‘In 2011, 576 year 5 students across the country scored full marks when it came to the vocabulary component of NAPLAN but by 2018, that figure had shrunk to 67 students receiving the top grade’.

As a long time educator and now author, I believe there are several contributing factors to this regression.

The first being that parents and adults in general just aren’t talking to children as much as they once did. We’re distracted. Babies and toddlers are like sponges. They soak up the language around them. Talking to your children frequently – directly and incidentally will help them develop verbal language skills. If you’ve ever tried to learn another language as an adult, (hello Duolingo French) you’ll know how tricky it is – but children are wired to be language receptors which is why they find it much easier to learn second and even third languages at a very young age…

Read here