ANXIETY has been revealed as the word of the year for children in 2021.

Oxford University Press (OUP) announced ‘anxiety’ as the Oxford Children’s Word of the Year.

For more than a decade, experts and researchers at OUP’s children’s language team have analysed the evolution of children’s language.

The theme of wellbeing was selected as a research focus for 2021.

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More than 8,000 children from 85 schools in the UK were surveyed and asked to choose the top words they would use when talking about health and wellbeing.

Almost a quarter chose anxiety as their number one word, closely followed by ‘challenging’ and ‘isolate’.

Teachers were also asked for the word they used most often when talking to pupils about health and wellbeing in the context of the past year.

‘Resilience’ came in as their number one choice, with ‘challenging’ in second.

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Helen Freeman, director of early childhood and home education at OUP, said: “The research highlights the vital role language plays for children when it comes to self-expression, learning and wellbeing.

“It’s important now, more than ever, that we invest in supporting children’s language development at home and in school.

“The findings demonstrate the role we all play in making sure children have the words they need to be able to express themselves and that, as adults, we are aware the language we use around children can significantly influence their learning and wellbeing.”

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