Spoken language in the new National Curriculum: radical reform or business as usual?
Spoken language in the new National Curriculum: radical reform or business as usual? An Invitation from Professor Robin Alexander UKLA members will be familiar with Robin Alexander's work on dialogic teaching and his long campaign to raise the profile and quality of classroom talk. Together with others he persuaded the national curriculum review's 'expert panel' to include a firm statement on oracy in their report last December. In February this year, at Robin's request, DfE held a seminar on oracy and classroom talk in the new national curriculum, attended by the Schools Minister, at which Robin and (by videolink from the United States) Lauren Resnick gave presentations and which was attended by others working in this field, including Neil Mercer. From these promising beginnings we hope we can anticipate major and positive changes in way spoken language is handled in the draft programmes of study for English and other subjects which are due to be published later this month, though Robin also noted, by way of warning, the rise and sad decline of a long succession of official initiatives in the domain of language in general and talk in particular. You can read and/or download Robin Alexander's DfE presentation below. Better still, when the draft programmes of study are published, why not check to see how far his arguments and proposals have penetrated DfE thinking? You may also like to draw on his paper, and the extensive evidence it cites, during the period of consultation in which we hope all UKLA members will conspicuously participate.