Types of talk Week 1 PGCE
Objectives • To understand how speaking and listening underpin all aspects of learning both within and beyond literacy; • To explore the different ways that teachers can engage children in talk-based activities; • To understand the role of the teacher in facilitating rather than leading talk.
Consider your own ‘talk’ history What was the impact of your location? Do you speak languages other than English? Were you/are you aware of being judged how you talk? Was there an influence of your family or peers? Were you aware of any impact of different media or popular culture?
A sea of talk “All that the children write, your response [as educator] to what they write, their response to each other, all this takes place afloat upon a sea of talk. Talk is what provides the links between you and them and what they write, between what they have written and each other.” (Britton, 1970: 29)
Talk for learning • Talk as part of imaginative engagement • Drama, role-play, literate activities • Talk & first-hand experiences • Interviews, visits, pictures, storytelling • Directed talk linked to learning • Talk partners, group discussion, presentations
Key questions • What do you notice about the children’s use of language? • What did you notice about the teacher’s use of language? • Is there anything that surprised or interested you?
Dialogic teaching • “Dialogic teaching harnesses the power of talk to engage children, stimulate and extend their thinking and advance learning and understanding” Alexander 2006:37
What does the research tell us about talk that goes on in the classroom? I Initiation R Response F Feedback (Sinclair and Coulthard 1975)
A dialogic classroom – your aim Teachers: • Guide and develop children’s contributions • Are good talk models • Make talk visible • Agree ‘ground rules’ • Balance teacher-led discussion and group work • Give them something interesting to talk about • Give space to explore an idea • Ask questions that lead to extended, thoughtful, reasoned answers. • Use a repertoire of talk • Become a dialogic teacher Alexander (2006)
Exploratory talk is thinking aloud together - constructing knowledge through talk Exploratory talk is hesitant and incomplete because it enables the speaker to try out ideas, to hear how they sound, to see what others make of them, to arrange information and ideas into different patterns…in exploratory talk the speaker is more concerned with sorting out his or her own thoughts. Barnes D in Dawes L. and Mercer, N. (2008) Exploring Talk in School London: Sage
Great Little movers and shakers • Lev Vygotsky • Jerome Bruner • Neil Mercer • Robin Alexander • Socrates
Language and thought :Vygotsky • Vygotsky stressed that thought is not merely expressed in words it comes into existence through them • He considered all speech to be socialised or to have a communicative function • Children can learn effectively through interaction with a more knowledgeable other Corden, 2000, p.7-8
Inter-thinking • New information • What they know and don’t know • How to use language for thinking • Make sense of the world • By talking, it changes your thinking and then you have to develop new ways of using language. Lev Vygotsky Mercer, 2007
Joint activity • Interthinking • Intermentalspace • Intramentalspace • Articulate • Analyse • Chains of response • Modify in the light of other people’s contributions
Language and thought: Bruner Bruner argued that: • Learning is facilitated through organised and structured learning experiences • Children need to be provided with opportunities to extend their current understanding • Speech is a primary instrument of thought • Bruner named the provision of appropriate frameworks for social interaction “scaffolding”. Corden, 2000, p. 9-11
What might this look like in your classroom? Plan and set up activities that require: • talk across the curriculum • opportunities to talk at length • speaking to different audiences • talking with different levels of formality • talking for different purposes
A Productive Question is… • Open – children answer as they see fit and at the level of their own understanding • Probing – further information or clarification is sought • Reflective – children have to consider and evaluate • Hypothetical – children consider situations and convey opinions, values and perceptions Primary National Strategy (2006) Excellence and Enjoyment DfES Ref: 0013-2006PCK-EN
Speaking and Listening Map of Development Beginning phase Early phase Exploratory language Consolidating phase Conventional phase Proficient phase Advanced phase Key indicators - what might you see? Major teaching emphasis - what is your role? Previously titled: Indicators for Oral Language Developmental Continuum First Steps (2006)
What does exploratory talk look like • Actively participate • Ask each other questions • Share relevant information • Give reasons for their views • Constructively criticise • Try to reach agreement Mercer (2007) • Asking questions • Including relevant • information • Justifying ideas • Having ground rules • Using reasoning words – • if, but, because • Trying to reach an • agreement • Trusting each other and • acting as a team • Mercer et al (1999)
Robert Fisher’s contribution Talking to think: why children need philosophical discussion http://www.teachingthinking.net/thinking/web%20resources/robert_fisher_talkingtothink.htm Robert Fisher’s homepage • http://www.teachingthinking.net/
Bibliography • Britton, J. (1970). Language and learning.Harmondsworth: Penguin • Geekie, P., Camborne, B., & Fitzsimmons, P. (1999) Understanding Literacy Development. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books pp.107-117 • Medwell, J., Wray, D., Pouslon, L., Fox, R., (220020 Teaching Literacy Effectively in the Primary School. • Mercer, N. (2000) Words & Minds. London: Routledge pp. 121-137 • Mercer, N. (1995) The Guided Construction of Knowledge. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters • Mercer, N. & Littleton, K. (2007) Dialogue and the development of children’s thinking. London:Routledge • Myhill, D., Jones, S. & Hopper, R. (2006) Talking, Listening and Learning. Berkshire: OUP • NAA (2004) Building a Picture of What Children Can Do. London: NAA • OfSTED (2005) English 2000-2005: A review of inspection evidence. London: Ofsted