Best Practice

Every teacher is a teacher of literacy: Speaking and listening skills

Continuing his series on teaching literacy across the curriculum, Matt Bromley focuses on practical ideas and advice for teachers to boost speaking and listening skills, including six tips to achieve ‘quick wins’

So far in this series, I have made the case for literacy as a cross-curricular concern, arguing – as George Sampson did – that: “Every teacher is a teacher of English because every teacher is a teacher in English.”

I have also argued that literacy across the curriculum should:

What’s more, literacy learning should be enjoyable, motivating and challenging, actively engaging, should activate prior learning, secure understanding, provide opportunities to apply skills, and develop pupils’ functional and thinking skills.

Cross-curricular literacy can be divided into three domains: speaking and listening (or oracy), reading, and writing.

As well as approaching each of these three strands individually, it is important to make connections between them and between different curriculum subjects so that pupils can develop their thought processes and understanding, as well as their abilities to recall, select and analyse ideas and information – which calls for pupils to communicate in a coherent, considered and convincing way both in speech and in writing. In practice, this means that pupils should be encouraged to:

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