in Wales have been asked to act to help boost attainment among younger pupils in the country.
Figures indicate that just one in seven seven-year-olds have failed to meet expected standards in speaking and listening in the country.
And Welsh schools watchdog Estyn has argued that those in teaching jobs
also need to work to improve reading and writing standards, which have failed to improve recently.
This is particularly pertinent for boys, it was suggested, whose trend of falling behind throughout education could be bucked if they were to gain improved key skills earlier in life.
Chief inspector Dr Bill Maxwell stated: "Being able to read and write accurately ... is crucial not only for achieving high standards in English and Welsh, but also for giving pupils more opportunities for success in all subjects."
Inspectors assessed four aspects of language - listening, speaking, reading and writing - as they believe they are all integral to overall development.
This week, the Welsh Assembly Government launched a new plan in an attempt to reduce rates of truancy and bad behaviour.