Talk about talk

It is important to teach children about talk and what ‘good’ talk is. The only way to do this is to have regular conversations where you talk about talk. Evaluating what you have done is a vital part of the journey.

When I taught a class I encouraged the children to talk about the talk after each activity. It was really interesting to hear what the children had to say about their talk. I would scaffold the discussion by providing questions to consider such as:

  • Who took turns to talk well?
  • Who was a good listener? Why?
  • Who was a good speaker? Why?
  • Which role do you think was the most important in that conversation? Why?
  • How do you think we could improve that discussion?
  • What went well?
  • How did you know Child A was listening?
  • How did you reach a shared agreement?

Remember the four strands of Oracy in the Oracy Framework? Use these to help you talk about talk. Identify an area you want to work on and then use this to unpick what was good and what needed improvement in the conversation. Use the parts that have been identified as areas for improvement as a focus for a future discussion.

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