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closing the word gap

Why Closing the Word Gap Matters

The Oxford Language Report has found evidence of a significant word gap in UK schools, an increasing problem which is holding back children's learning

Why Closing the Word Gap Matters

The Oxford Language Report has found evidence of a significant word gap in UK schools, an increasing problem which is holding back children's learning

closing the word gap

To better understand the word gap, we've carried out market research with more than 1,300 teachers in the UK. Over half of those surveyed reported that at least 40% of their pupils lacked the vocabulary needed to access their learning. Worryingly, 69% of primary school teachers and 60% of secondary school teachers believe the gap is increasing.

In schools, language underpins progress, impacts on attainment throughout primary and secondary years, affects self-esteem and behaviour and plays a huge role in a child's future life chances. Without enough language - a word gap - a child is seriously limited in their enjoyment of school and success beyond.

Our top three practical takeaways from the report for helping to close the word gap are:

  1. Bringing vocabulary practice into mainstream class teaching
  2. Focusing on key subject vocabulary, and learning language in the context of use
  3. The importance of conversations and wider reading in the classroom and at home

What are yours? Join in the conversation with us #wordgap.

Early years and primary language resources

Nuffield Early Language Intervention

Address the word gap right at the very start with this 20-week programme for children in their first year of primary school who show weakness in their oral language skills

Read Write Inc. Phonics

Reading and writing right from the start

Oxford Levels

Our Oxford Levels system means you can accurately match children to the right book, and are correlated with the Oxford Reading Criterion Scale so you can assess and identify next steps

Oxford Owl

Oxford Owl is packed with the tools and expert advice you need for monitoring progress and motivating your children

PX Code

Proven reading intervention for children in Years 2–4 who are a year or more behind in their word reading

Oxford Children's Dictionaries

Encourage a love of words and language with our range of dictionaries, thesauruses and free online resources specially compiled to meet the demands of the school curriculum

Secondary language resources

Catapult

Support for students who are below expected standards at the start of secondary school, helping students to develop their skills and approach their examinations with confidence

Read Write Inc. Fresh Start

A successful reading and writing intervention programme developed by Ruth Miskin to rescue pupils age 9 and above who are below age-related expectations

Ignite English

Encourages KS3 students to build their vocabulary and aims to show how the study of English relates to the real world. For KS3 from a trusted author team including Geoff Barton

Rollercoasters

A vast array of genres, novelists, and challenging subject-matter, accompanied by free online teaching resources

Playscripts

The ideal way to introduce your 11-14 students to thought-provoking, challenging and accessible, classic and modern plays, and the act of reading aloud in the classroom

Oxford Children's Dictionaries

Encourage a love of words and language with our range of dictionaries, thesauruses and free online resources specially compiled to meet the demands of the school curriculum

To 14

Enables students to develop lasting confidence in essential reading, writing and comprehension skills

19th Century Dictionary

This browsable and unique dictionary explains the interesting words found in 19th century texts studied at secondary school

Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary

Provides students with invaluable support while they read and understand Shakespeare's plays

RSC School Shakespeare

Working in partnership with the RSC, this series is ideal for introducing your 11-14 year old students to Shakespeare's world

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Showing 1-9 of 9 results

Series

RSC School Shakespeare

RSC School Shakespeare

Discover, connect, inspire

Series

Rollercoasters (KS3)

Rollercoasters (KS3)

An exciting range of classroom fiction and free online teaching resources for KS3

Series

Ignite English (KS3)

Ignite English (KS3)

Delivering the KS3 curriculum and laying the foundations for GCSE

Series

Oxford Playscripts

Oxford Playscripts

Bringing theatre to your classroom for over 25 years: popular adaptations and original drama

Series

To 14

To 14

Up-to-date support giving students lasting confidence in essential reading and writing skills

Series

Nuffield Early Language Intervention

Nuffield Early Language Intervention

Improves children’s oral language skills and supports reading comprehension

Series

Project X CODE

Project X CODE

Proven phonics intervention for Years 2-4

Series

Read Write Inc. Fresh Start - New Edition

Read Write Inc. Fresh Start - New Edition

Give your struggling pupils a Fresh Start in reading and writing

Series

Catapult

Catapult

Boosting your lower-attaining students' key skills and confidence to help them catch up

Showing 1-9 of 9 results