Oracy October is back!

This year’s theme was ‘Speaking like a Specialist’ and explored what high-quality talk looks like in different subject disciplines.

We wanted teachers to use the month to encourage students to talk like subject experts, raising their understanding of oracy by challenging them to speak like specialists in different areas of the curriculum. What does it mean to speak like a scientist? How does this differ from speaking like a historian, or to the expectations of high-quality talk in English or maths? While most of our communication skills can be universally applied, talk in different subject areas and disciplines has varying purposes. Raising students’ awareness of these differences supports them to become flexible and resilient communicators.

To enable this, over the month of October we hosted a series of 6 free webinars and have published a resource for schools: ‘Speaking like a Specialist’. You can find more details on both of these below.

Speaking like a Specialist resources

The resource contains 7 different challenges in which students can explore a different mode of specialist talk: speaking like a scientist, sportsperson, citizen, mathematician, artist, historian and performance poet. For each of these modes of talk, we’ve highlighted the work of a different specialist in that subject – including people like Stephen Hawking, Frida Kahlo and Katherine Johnson.

You can these challenges to encourage students to consider the purpose of talk in different school subjects. As the month progresses, share how your students are getting on with us via social media, using #oracyoctober #speakinglikeaspecialist.


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