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Closing the word gap matters, so Mind the Gap!

The ‘word gap’ is a phrase that is used mostly in Early Years to describe a pupil who enters school with language significantly below age-related expectations. Oxford University Press have undertaken research to identify whether this word gap is just in the Early Years or can be found throughout primary and secondary schooling. Their report, ‘Why Closing the Word Gap Matters: Oxford Language Report’ discusses their findings.


Read pages 1- 7 and then at least one of the case studies. As you read, think about your pupils and their vocabulary. Are there parts in the document with which you agree or disagree? How does the research relate to you and your pupils?

Are you looking for wonderful texts to share with children that can improve their vocabulary? Take a look at our carefully selected Texts that Teach

Reflect and Share

We would like you to leave a comment sharing your thoughts about the reading and your pupils, choosing one or two of these prompts to respond to. However, when you comment, we would like you to use some specific vocabulary in your response (see below PDF for some handy vocab to use in your comments). There is not a set number of words to use, but we would like you to challenge yourself to use those that are appropriate.

  • What interested you the most in the reading?

  • What confirmed your knowledge / views of vocabulary development?

  • What most surprised you?

  • What resonated with your own experiences?

  • What significance does this have to your own teaching of vocabulary/your pupils?

  • How did it feel to use the vocabulary provided?

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This article is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Teaching Vocabulary

Babcock Education