When do the children see the adults talking?

The Quirky Teacher

Every year, the tally of children rocking up to reception year with speech and language deficits seems to increase; some have an American accent (!), some have no clear consonant sounds, some have a severely limited vocabulary and some don’t speak at all. I think pretty much everyone is in agreement about the positive effects of sharing civilised conversation and food at the dinner table on children’s emotional and intellectual development (research shows it is better for building vocabulary than reading to children*) and how lack of dinner table conversation may impact on development, but have we taken the opportunity to look at the life of a disadvantaged child to see when exactly they might have any kind of adult conversation modeled to them? For some children I fear are not seeing or hearing civilised conversation at all. What’s going on?

  • Even where communal dining experiences happen, children…

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