“Talk is arguably the true foundation of learning" R J Alexander

There is a significant body of research that demonstrates the role of oracy in supporting educational development.

The development of advanced literacy relies on a good command of spoken language. For most Australians this means English speaking skills and effective listening skills.

The following article and publications outline some contemporary thinking around the importance of oral language acquisition.

Speaking up: the importance of oracy in teaching and learning. Published in ‘Impact’, the Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching (UK) in 2018.

In this article the authors discuss how teachers can support oracy in the classroom.


Approaches to Developing Oracy: Developing Speaking and Listening with Young Children by Roy Evans and Deborah Jones. Published by Routledge 2009; ISBN 9780415495554

This book looks at how the development of speaking and listening impact metacognitive awareness and raise the standard of literacy and dialogic thinking in children.

Language and the Joint Creation of Knowledge by Neil Mercer. Published by Routledge 2019; ISBN 9780367002077

In this selection of papers, Neil Mercer discusses the importance of talk in education and the relationship between spoken language and cognition.

Teaching English by the Book by James Clements. Published by Taylor & Francis Ltd; ISBN 9781138213159

In Chapter 10, Spoken language: The importance of oracy, Clements discusses how spoken language sits at the heart of English teaching.

Dialogue and the Development of Children’s Thinking by Neil Mercer and Karen Littleton. Published by Routledge 2007; ISBN 9788415484792.

The authors examine the relationship between dialogue and children’s learning development.