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I CAN poll blames TV for language deterioration

2 Feb 2004

Parents who sit their children in front of the television for hours are being blamed for an alarming rise in the number of youngsters who cannot speak properly. Adults should turn off the TV and talk more to their children to encourage verbal skills, according to a speech therapy charity.

Nursery teachers are faced with children who are struggling to develop their vocabulary, cannot speak clearly and have difficulty understanding instructions.

A poll by the charity I CAN, which helps children with speech and language difficulties, showed that 96% of nursery staff had at least one child with 'communication difficulties' in their care. Of those, 92% blamed the lack of conversation between adults and children.

More than three quarters of nursery staff said TV was a major factor, while 64% cited the habit of some parents of talking on behalf of their children. Ten per cent of those questioned said they had ten or more children in their classes who had difficulty talking. I CAN chief executive Gill Edelman said: 'Despite the large numbers of children affected, there is still a very low awareness of this."

"Early intervention is crucial so that we can ensure that children with speech and language difficulties have the same opportunities in life as other children," she added.

(Daily Mail, 2 February 2004)

Tags: Talk To Your Baby

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The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
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