How Significant Are Speech, Language, And Communication?

Being a speech-language pathologist, it should go without saying that when I consider what is crucial for kids, communication, speech, and language abilities are at the top of my priority list. How do other people feel, though?

Children play in teams
Photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash

A few significant studies demonstrate how concerned teachers are about children developing strong spoken language skills. For example, in one survey, teachers from primary and secondary schools across the country felt strongly that communication skills should be taught in schools, with over two-thirds of them agreeing. Another person believed that language might be used to unlock the worlds of reading, writing, and learning and unleash children's development potential.

Communication abilities are even more important in the eyes of employers. According to several company polls, the most crucial talent for young people for their first job is communication.

Youth themselves also acknowledge this:

“Good communication is one of the most important skills anyone could have..”

“Oh my God, it just affects everything.”

A lot of reliable evidence supports these opinions.

With low language abilities, up to 50% of youngsters may begin school.

Knowing about children's speech, language, and communication is important since so many kids struggle to learn these fundamental abilities, in addition to the fact that they are such important foundational ones. A small percentage of kids and teenagers—around 10%—have speech, language, and communication needs (SLCN) that they will never outgrow.

The percentage of children who begin school with insufficient language abilities rises to as high as 50% in disadvantaged neighborhoods. These requirements, if unmet, affect learning, reading acquisition, emotional and social growth, and long-term effects on children's prospects in life. Knowing about speech, language, and communication may assist in making sure that these children are recognized as soon as possible so that they might perhaps receive the care they require.

It's wonderful to know that others share my belief that spoken language is significant. Yet more work has to be done. The National Review of Provision for Children and Young People with SLCN showed a lack of knowledge of the significance of children's communication, especially among decision-makers. Bercow: The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and [I CAN] led the review, and the result was released publicly.

In both national and local strategies, it was discovered that children's communication was not given priority. Accordingly, the survey found a lack of emphasis on spoken language in both the structures that guarantee parents and caregivers have access to the knowledge and services they require to assist early language development in infants and the manner children learn. It was discovered that there is a postcode lottery for resources available to kids with SLCN; the level of care children receive is frequently based on where they live and the institution or setting they attend.

Practicing Effectively

More optimistically, the study also uses the numerous instances of truly excellent practice discussed during oral evidence sessions. Strong suggestions offer tactical answers from these. It is optimistic that the government's Social Mobility Action Plan places so much emphasis on young children's language development and that the "word gap" between young children in underprivileged regions and their classmates is widely acknowledged. However, this is insufficient because voice, language, and communication are still crucial after age five.

Through adolescence and into adulthood, children require language to learn, comprehend what they read, solve issues, and control their emotions. Similar to adults, many children with SLCN experience long-term challenges for which they require ongoing assistance. There is work to be done.

A website called Bercow: Ten Years On offers a plethora of calls to action—practical measures to change for everyone—including school personnel, early childhood practitioners, parents, young people, and commissioners—complements the findings and suggestions.