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Talking about Oracy: Developing communication beyond the classroom

Talking about Oracy: Developing communication beyond the classroom

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Whether considering the art of debate; understanding dialogic teaching methods; the necessity of questioning; or the ability to assess and develop these skills, this book has been written by a classroom teacher, for classroom teachers, in the hope that oracy is recognised for its significance to improving students’ life skills and aspirations.

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Whether considering the art of debate; understanding dialogic teaching methods; the necessity of questioning; or the ability to assess and develop these skills, this book has been written by a classroom teacher, for classroom teachers, in the hope that oracy is dragged out of the shadows and recognised for its significance to improving students’ life skills and future aspirations.

When we think about the transferable skills all students will take with them post-academia, oracy, literacy and numeracy should logistically stand proudly side by side. This triad of skillsets are the key components that are used to measure intellectual development in childhood, as well as being further instilled and nurtured in all students throughout their education.
However, as children become students and as these students become critical thinkers, an element of this crucial triad appears to have been disowned in recent years.

In 2020, oracy appeared to have even less relevance in academia, with the only supportive provision for both Language and Literature to deal with any missed learning being the eradication of any recorded proof of this skill. Yet another indication that oracy has, in some circumstances, been cast into the shadows and banished into the realm of the subject specific curricular.

We need to be realistic and embrace the idea that this skill is a necessity to success for all learners post-academia. Training students in the ability to communicate effectively with different audiences in different contexts, needs to be brought back into the spotlight in the hopes that we can attempt to resolve any misconceptions regarding oracy’s place in the curriculum.

Through the recognition of the theoretical understanding of communication that will provide the foundations for this book, the aim is that it acts as a supportive guide that will provide suggestions and strategies in order to hopefully empower and encourage educators in all subjects in education, thus restoring the use and appreciation for this necessary skill both inside and outside the classroom.

For so long, focus has been on the stress and rigor of assessments, and the fulfilment of the curriculum to ensure that all students can navigate their GCSE examinations. This book will question whether this will have a detrimental effect on students who may have been exposed to fewer of the skills that they will require when leaving an educational setting and venturing into everyday life.

So, let’s address the elephant in the room, and provide it a voice.

'Talking About Oracy is a much-needed book especially for secondary school teachers and leaders. As a former English and Drama teacher, many of my own light bulb moments with students were when I saw what they were able to achieve when supported to talk and communicate effectively. Sarah Davies also makes an effective case for all teachers to teach oracy both as a crucial life skill and as a process learning. The book and the case studies it contains, are rooted in research and evidence whilst offering resources to apply such knowledge practically. It’s definitely a book for your CPD library.'

Vivienne Porritt, Vivienne Porritt, Strategic Leader of #WomenEd and Vice President of Chartered College of Teaching

'As someone who is passionate about everyone finding their voice, I found this book refreshing and one that every educator across the globe should read. In my opinion, oracy can be all too easily forgotten – the poor relation to numeracy and literacy – yet it is a vital life skill that our young people have to be taught. As Sarah says, ‘it is time that we talk about oracy’, and her book does this wonderfully well. With case studies, research and clear explanations, Talking About Oracy is an enjoyable and engaging read. With her top tips and wise words, Sarah has ensured that this book will improve our students’ capacity to understand speech and to express themselves in speech, but she has also considered how we (as educators) can improve our own skills too. With a chapter devoted to oracy in leadership, this book meets the needs of all those in education and I cannot recommend it enough. I just wish it had been out when I first started teaching!'

Toria Bono, primary teacher and evidence lead educator

About the Author

With a wealth of knowledge acquired from elements of the private sector, including recruitment consultancy and human resources, Sarah returned to her passion for teaching after the birth of her eldest son.

After working throughout the North West of England as a cover teacher, Sarah went on to achieve her PGCE in English Secondary Education. She has also gained a Masters in English Literature, and is now a lead examiner for one of the leading exam boards.

Since qualifying as a teacher, Sarah has gained experience as both a lead practitioner, and as head of English for a secondary school that is part of a multi-academy trust. In all of her professional roles, Sarah has had the ability to develop her craft, as well as her passion for developing teaching and learning strategies for all subjects. Having received her NPQML as well as Olevi training, Sarah has also written articles for both Sec:Ed and TES.

Additional Information

Author Sarah Davies
ISBN 9781913622374
No of pages 160
Format Paperback
Publication Date 4 Dec 2020

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