Transform Teaching and Learning through Talk: The Oracy Imperative

By Amy Gaunt, Alice Stott


“Reading and writing float on a sea of talk” declared James Britton – and yet in our current education system, where the pressure is on for students to pass written exams, it is all too easily left adrift. How then, as teachers and educators, can we turn the tide and harness the power of talk in our classrooms?

This is not just an educational choice but rather, given students’ vastly different experiences of language, a moral imperative.

Amy Gaunt and Alice Stott’s must-read book serves as a detailed and engaging guide to get talking in class. It blends the academic research and evidence, with first-hand classroom experiences and practical strategies to enable you to unlock the power of oracy in your classroom and equip your students with the speaking skills they need to thrive in the twenty-first century.

Transform Teaching and Learning Through Talk describes how to:

  • Identify and teach good talk (and listening!)
  • Build a classroom culture which values talk
  • Create meaningful and authentic contexts for oracy
  • Support your quietest students to speak up too!

This book is a rich resource for teachers, drawing upon key academic research and outlining what this could look like in your classroom. Throughout, the authors share personal insights, engaging anecdotes and tried-and-tested approaches drawn from their experience teaching in primary and secondary classrooms. Whether you teach college-age students or those just starting their journey through school, this book will challenge you to think deeply about what you can do integrate oracy into your practice.

Amy Gaunt and Alice Stott lead teaching and learning at Voice 21, a charity dedicated to raising the status of oracy in schools across the UK and worldwide. Over the last two years they have supported thousands of teachers and hundreds of schools across the UK to embrace oracy in their pedagogy and curriculum. Their practice has been shaped by the innovative approaches to oracy developed at School 21, a pioneering 4-18 state school in Stratford, East London.

Resource Details

Product Information

ISBN: 978-1-4758-4068-1
Copyright: 2018
Format: Trade Paper
Pages: 176
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

Available Previews

Praise for this Resource

  • Essential reading for classroom practitioners, school leaders and, I’d argue, for policy makers who might be persuaded of the core value of oracy – not a distraction, but instead the engine house of academic achievement and for developing rounded, confident individuals. Those early pioneers in the 1970s and 1980s cleared a lot of the scrubland surrounding attitudes to talk in education. They planted the seeds that, now, possibly, are beginning to burst into flower again. This book doesn’t just revisit what was made visible in those times, but stimulates and reveals new growth as well, fresh approaches that might just survive for longer this time around.

    Oracy Cambridge
  • This is a wonderful book that provides that rare thing – absolute clarity of vision and purpose alongside practical down-to-earth examples for the classroom. Dip into this this today and by tomorrow have a range of tried and tested activities that will inspire your class to engage meaningfully in discussion, build listening skills and engage in debate. The authors are experienced highly successful teachers who generously share their strategies, resources and insights. I recommend this to you wholeheartedly.

    Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching