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‘Anxiety’ voted children’s word of the year for 2021

While 'anxiety' was the top choice, chosen by 21 per cent of children, it was followed by 'challenging', chosen by 19 per cent, 'isolate' (14 per cent) and 'well-being' (13 per cent).

By: Parenting Desk | New Delhi |
January 21, 2022 11:05:25 am
For children living amidst the pandemic, it was a year full of uncertainties. (Representative photo/Pexels)

Children have chosen ‘anxiety’ as their word of the year for 2021, according to new research from Oxford University Press (OUP). In comparison, teachers have chosen ‘resilience’.

This year, OUP’s academics focused on well-being, keeping in mind the impact of the pandemic on education, and concerns about children’s mental health across the United Kingdom.

OUP has drawn its results from the analysis of the evolution of children’s language, and how they use it to reflect their emotions and experiences, for over a decade now. It also drew from the largest children’s English language corpus in the world, the Oxford Children’s Corpus.

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Almost 8,000 children aged between 7-14, from 85 UK schools were surveyed by the OUP. They were asked to select the top words they would use while discussing health and well-being.

While ‘anxiety’ was the top choice, chosen by 21 per cent of children, it was followed by ‘challenging’, chosen by 19 per cent, ‘isolate’ (14 per cent) and ‘well-being’ (13 per cent).

Teachers named ‘resilience’ as their top choice, chosen by 31 per cent, followed by ‘challenging’ (19 per cent) and ‘well-being’ (18 per cent).

The department will be updating their dictionaries and resources for schools to reflect the current usage of the words — such as ‘bubble’ and ‘lockdown’ — in relation to the pandemic.

New phrases such as ‘self-isolation’ will be included as well.

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