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THE GRUNTS; Welsh kids can't talk and it's all blamed on parents.

Byline: BRENDON WILLIAMS

HALF of Wales' five-year-olds are not ready to start primary school - because they can't speak properly.

The Government's Basic Skills Agency blamed parents for the shock figures, saying they no longer speak to their children.

Agency chief Alan Wells claimed most communication between parents and children had descended into a "daily grunt". He blamed families for not talking and wasting time on TV and computer games.

He said children's language ability had declined across the whole of Britain. But he highlighted Wales, where an estimated 50 per cent of five-year-olds can't speak well enough to start primary school.

Mr Wells said: "Heads will tell you that language skills of children have declined because language in many homes has to some extent disappeared and so have regular conversations parents have with children."

Speaking at the North of England Education Conference in Warrington, Cheshire, Mr Wells said the growth of one-parent families was partly to blame. He added: "At the age when they come into school, many children have very few language skills at all."

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NO TALKING: TV rules in the home
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 9, 2003
Words:185
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