English Language: Education

House of Lords written question – answered on 14th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Quirk Lord Quirk Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement in the National Curriculum in England framework document published in December 2014 that “pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the curriculum” in the section “vocabulary development”, why under the section on programmes of study there is no programme for vocabulary.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, with reference to the National Curriculum in England framework document published in December 2014, why in the section “Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation” there is nothing on vocabulary.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The importance of vocabulary development is emphasised and integrated throughout the National Curriculum framework. This covers both general vocabulary development and the subject-specific language that pupils need to be able to use to progress in, for example, mathematics and science. Both the reading and writing domains of the English programmes of study emphasise the importance of building pupils’ vocabulary, so they understand and can use a wide range of words.

The approach to developing vocabulary is first through securing word reading and comprehension and second through pupils developing an understanding of how words and meaning can be created using prefixes and suffixes. Morphology and etymology are emphasised at Key Stage 2 to further develop pupils’ capacity for understanding and developing vocabulary. This is brought together in the appendix covering vocabulary, grammar and punctuation, which also sets out the terminology that pupils should be taught to use to discuss their writing.

The National Curriculum Framework document was updated in December 2014 to include the new science programmes of study for Key Stage 4. The English programmes of study remain unchanged since their original publication in September 2013 for Key Stages 1-3 and June 2014 for Key Stage 4.

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