UCL Festival of Culture: Can the Language of 11 Year Olds Predict Their Future?

6th June 2018 14:00 to 15:00

Nearly 50 years ago, in 1969, more than 10,000 11-year-olds across Great Britain wrote an essay imagining what their lives would be would like by the time they were 25. They were all participants in the National Child Development Study, which began when they were all born, in a single week in March 1958, and which has been tracking their lives ever since. As the study turns 60 in 2018, a team of researchers from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), Stonybrook University in New York, and University of Melbourne has been analysing the essays written by the 11-year-olds, alongside the data collected about each of them through the study over the past six decades.This session will explore the extent to which the language the 11-year-olds used in their essays would foretell their future lives. We examine the power of the essays in predicting their cognitive function, physical activity and economic status throughout their adult lives.