AO of the year

‘1.9 million children are behind with their talking and understanding of words’ – ESB endorses the findings in Speech and Language UK’s newly published report: Listening to unheard children

Speech and Language UK has recently published a report which highlights the significant rise in children struggling with talking and understanding words.

English Speaking Board (International) wholeheartedly supports the report’s recommendations and the charity’s call on the Government and the education system to take urgent action so that these children have the skills they need to face the future with confidence.

ESB knows the impact when young people and adults don’t have the speaking and listening skills needed to thrive in their lives.

  • Ineffective communication and poor oracy skills can significantly impact an individual’s learning, life and work. 
  • Communication-rich experiences are key to helping children, young people and adults find their voice; developing confidence, self-esteem and self-respect. The pandemic adversely impacted these experiences for those children already living with socio economic disadvantage.
  • Acquiring good levels of Oracy are further challenged by disadvantage – socio-economic, special educational needs and disabilities and people whose first language isn’t English. Sadly these often act as barriers to educational attainment and aspirations.

These are the problems that ESB wants to address.

Says ESB’s Chief Executive, “Finding your voice is absolutely central to who we are as human beings. Many young people and adults are eager to reach their full potential, but the education system can be a barrier for those with additional or significant learning needs. That’s where ESB comes in. Our empowering, confidence-boosting oracy qualifications help prepare individuals for success in both their personal and professional lives.”

ESB is committed to helping close the disadvantage gap and the key points of this new report mirror ESB’s purpose to empower all learners to develop key oracy skills, regardless of their background.

Adds Tina, “We reach out to children and young adults who may be affected by poverty, difficult socio-economic conditions, special educational needs and disabilities, and we offer them that unique opportunity to focus on oracy through our Ofqual Accredited qualifications.

“Through our Outreach Campaign, we provide financial support through our Christabel Burniston Fund to schools in areas of disadvantage, as well as schools offering specialist SEND provision.”

What is the impact of investing in ESB qualifications that focus on oracy?

ESB’s recently launched National Impact Report outlines the impact of its externally assessed qualifications on the development of learners’ oracy and personal development.

Impact at Primary Level

Teachers told us that:

  • ESB qualifications have had a huge impact on the speaking and listening skills of their learners in the wake of the pandemic, with a 9/10 impact score.
  • Learners spoke with an increasing command of standard English.
  • Learners were judged to be far more competent and confident in their ability to gain and maintain the interest of their peers and to stay on topic, initiate and respond.
  • Learners improved their group work skills.
  • Learners also said that they were much happier to read in class after they had completed the assessment.

Impact at Secondary Level

  • 62% of learners told us that the qualifications improved their ability to work well in a group and helped them to stay focused and to collaborate with others.
  • Teachers said that the impact of completing these qualifications in a post-pandemic world was of significance for these young people, with an 8/10 impact score.
  • Learners also felt they improved their ability to speak confidently, audibly and fluently, enhanced their vocabulary to articulate better, and improved their own abilities and targets.

To find out more about ESB’s National Impact Report, please watch the video. You can also download the Executive Summary of the report here.

ESB understands that investing in oracy has its dividends and has both an immediate and life-long impact on learners.

Tina says, “It is ESB’s goal to expand our reach to more organisations where learners face disadvantage. By developing speaking and listening skills, we stretch the most able, support the least confident and realise the potential of all, to help close the disadvantage gap.”

If you are interested in speaking to our team about Oracy qualifications or if your centre qualifies for financial support through our Outreach Programme, we would love to hear from you. Please email or call 01695 573439 extension 201.

You can read Speech and Language UK’s full report here.