Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship – Day 1

It’s a gorgeous day in London – crisp, sunny and spring buds everywhere. Magic place to be.

I am spending a couple of weeks in England at the start of my Fellowship. One strand of my interest is how communities are coming together to raise literacy achievement – for children and for adults. A particular new interest is oracy – the oral language we all need to thrive and survive.

Day 1: I got off NZ2 and onto the tube at Heathrow. A young couple got on at the next stop with a three year old in a pushchair. We travelled for half an hour. Her parents never looked at her or spoke to her the entire time. And she never said a word. She didn’t call out to them, didn’t ask a question. She sat there bored and silent.

It was a poignant illustration of one of the things I am interested to find out more about – why more children seem to be starting school  without enough spoken language.  How common would that silence be on the train or bus in Auckland?


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