- Primary Teachers
- Key Issues
- Secondary Teachers
- Key Issues
- Parents & Carers
For over a decade lexicographers, publishers and editors from Oxford University Press have been tracking changes in children’s language, vocabulary and self-expression and providing insights into children's evolving use of language.
Each year OUP publishes a language report on children’s engagement with topics ranging from politics, climate change, and natural disasters to books, films, music, technology, and their favourite sports and celebrities. As part of this analysis, OUP announces the Children’s Word of the Year, throwing light on the changing language.
Previous Oxford Children’s Word of the Year include coronavirus (2020), Brexit (2019), plastic (2018), Trump (2017), and refugee (2016).
8,000 children were surveyed and asked to choose the words they would use when talking about health and wellbeing. This new Oxford Children’s Language Report 2021 shows significant growth in vocabulary of mental health and wellbeing in children’s language with the top choice for word of the year being anxiety. Teachers are finding young people better able to express their feelings in the classroom in the wake of the pandemic, school closures, and isolation.
“Children are familiar with a lot more vocabulary linked to health and wellbeing and are able to describe their feelings and thoughts in more detail than before lockdowns.” Teacher
“Having conversations and using the right language is incredibly important when supporting children if they are feeling anxious, isolated or going through tough challenges, and it’s also crucial children are able to express how they are feeling.” Joe Jenkins, The Children’s Society.
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