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Family Chats Could Boost Children's Learning

news - mealtimes
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9:37am 31st July 2013
(Updated 9:37am 31st July 2013)

It is claimed children who chat with their families do better in the classroom.

But a study by the National Literacy Trust has found around a third spend more time online or watching TV instead.

A quarter do not sit down and talk every day over a meal.

The research with nearly 35,000 children and young people across the UK found that two thirds of those who talk daily with their family at meals feel confident to speak in front of a group, but less than half of those who eat in silence do.

Children who do not enjoy regular talk at mealtimes are also four times more likely to not feel confident putting their hand up in class or working in a team.

The research also found that disadvantaged children are nearly twice as likely to rarely or never talk with their family at mealtimes than their better-off peers.

In the Government's proposals for a revised National Curriculum, there is a renewed focus on speaking and listening skills in primary schools from September 2014.

The National Literacy Trust says its new research shows how families can play their part, by taking simple steps like chatting together at mealtimes.

Natalie Cassidy, ex-EastEnders star and mum of Eliza, aged 3, supports the National Literacy Trust's Words for Life campaign for parents. She said "I believe it's incredibly important for mealtimes to not only be about the food we eat but the conversation we have around the table."


You can read the full report here

9:37am 31st July 2013

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