Why spoken language is key to accessing the curriculum

The ability to understand the spoken word and to express ourselves orally is the foundation for all learning, says educational psychologist Dr Ioanna Bakopoulou. She tells Christina Quaine how teachers can help to foster those skills

Spoken language

There are few skills that we depend upon throughout our lives as much as spoken language. Whether it’s selling ourselves in an interview, explaining a problem to a friend or simply making a doctor’s appointment over the phone, most of us are using oral language on a daily basis to help us succeed in life.

Yet, the importance of spoken language has largely gone unrecognised by the national curriculum since the National Oracy Project ended in 1993. Spoken language has repeatedly been sidelined in favour of numeracy and literacy, with the decision to drop the speaking and listening components of ...

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