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Oracy: Selected reading

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This is a collection of research articles, case studies, webinars and other relevant resources to further develop your understanding of oracy. We have ensured that these are open access or available to members of The Chartered College of Teaching. 

The resources collated here will not provide a recipe for what you should do. Some of the articles will also present opposing viewpoints, and ones which may contradict your own viewpoint or experience. They will provoke thought, debate and discussion. We encourage you to read and appraise the literature to make informed decisions based on your local context, professional experience and other available research evidence. 

Resources from the Chartered College of Teaching:

  • This case study outlines how teachers can support oracy in the classroom, drawing on research commissioned by Voice 21, and undertaken by LKMco, a think tank working across the education and policy sectors.
  • This research project aimed to develop understanding of dialogic talk for learning amongst school staff, with a particular focus on improving the oracy development and educational outcomes of pupils falling into the ‘disadvantaged’ category. 
  • This research project aimed to understand students’ perceptions of oracy. The outcomes of this study provide some useful learnings for classroom practice. 
  • This original research details the development of oracy across the geography curriculum. Whilst the study was conducted with secondary-age students, there may be implications for primary settings. 
  • This video case study outlines how one primary school developed their approach to oracy. 
  • This case study outlines how one Year 2 teacher developed oracy skills to enhance collaborative learning in the classroom.
  • This research review provides a range of evidence-informed strategies to improve oracy and dialogic skills as a means to combat language poverty. 
  • This article outlines the main principles of Alexander’s (2020) dialogic teaching and explains why dialogue is so important for teachers and students alike.
  • This article considers research findings and argues that a focus on a high-quality oracy education can positively impact the future life chances of their pupils
  • This article includes two case studies that demonstrate how high-quality oracy provision can increase students’ access to and engagement with youth social action opportunities.
  • In this article, one ECT recounts how they developed a culture of confident and respectful talk in their classroom.
  • In this article, one Trust Lead recounts how they developed a whole-school culture of oracy. 
  • This perspective article reflects on the importance of teaching oracy in schools. It examines the outcomes for students when teachers are supported in embedding oracy in primary settings. 
  • This research summary explores the principles of Oracy-Dialogics through a case study in a Cambridge Primary Review flagship school. 
  • This CPD pack provides teachers with materials to explore oracy strategies. The packs are designed to be flexible so they can be used and adapted to deliver a one-off session or a longer series of CPD opportunities. The facilitator notes contain suggestions for how to shorten or extend activities depending on whether you wish to provide a brief snapshot of the research or explore the concepts over a longer time period.

Other resources and articles freely available from other providers:

  • The Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry intends to develop a clear set of practical recommendations for government, policy makers, educational bodies and school leaders to ensure that every child receives quality oracy education. 
  • Produced by Voice 21 and the English Speaking Union, the ‘Speaking Frankly’ report makes the case for an oracy-centred curriculum.
  • The ‘The State of Speaking in Our Schools’ report sheds light on the current state of oracy teaching in schools across the UK.
  • This I CAN report sheds light on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted students’ speaking and language skills.
  • This report collates the current evidence around effective oracy teaching.  
  • This research review, written by Robin Alexander (2013), provides an overview of the achievements and challenges of improving oracy and classroom talk in English schools.
  • Oracy Cambridge have published six extracts from the book ‘Fear is the Mind Killer’ written by Dr. James Mannion and Kate McAllister. These extracts explore pertinent themes around oracy and classroom talk. 
  • In this video presentation, Professor Neil Mercer, Director of Oracy Cambridge, outlines how primary schools can effectively implement oracy into the curriculum.
  • In this short video presentation, Professor Neil Mercer draws attention to the ‘power of talk’ in the classroom. 
  • Oracy Cambridge and Voice 21 have produced an Oracy Skills Framework and Glossary to support school leaders, teachers and pupils understand the physical, linguistic, cognitive and social/emotional skills that enable successful discussion and effective communication.
  • Voice 21 have produced the Oracy Benchmarks to clarify, distil and share what makes a high-quality oracy education.
  • Voice 21 have a range of freely available case studies that showcase how oracy is being embedded in a variety of school contexts. 
  • Underpinned by research evidence, Voice 21 outlines why oracy is important across the curriculum.
  • As part of their Teaching and Learning Toolkit, the EEF summarises the evidence-base around oracy, demonstrating that oral language interventions are a very high impact strategy,  for a very low cost.
  • In this Tes article, one primary school teacher outlines the strategies that have helped his class to become confident participants in class discussion and public speaking.
  • This report summarises the evidence-base around the development of oracy skills and highlights the importance of spoken language education as a means to improve cognitive, social and emotional and life outcomes for all young people.
  • This perspective article makes a case for oracy being more important than literacy and numeracy combined. 
  • This case study outlines one primary school’s journey integrating oracy across the curriculum.
  • This research review collates the evidence on the impact of debate activities.
  • This research article explores the implications for social impact of dialogic teaching and learning.
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