This booklet does five things. It reviews some of the authoritative work, done over many decades, confirming the essential role of the spoken language in learning. It presents examples of classroom talk which have been effective in advancing learning. It offers a theoretical model, drawing on the authorities previously quoted, of the learning process to which talk contributes. It critiques aspects of the new National Curriculum orders for spoken language, introduced in 2014 or 2015. It offers an alternative curriculum for the spoken language 5 to 16, which is rigorous and developmental, and which values equally the more exploratory and collaborative along with the more formal and individual uses of talk.