Best Practice

Quick wins for teaching oracy skills

All teachers recognise the crucial role of oracy skills, but with a packed curriculum and high workload, how can we teach these to our students every day? Amy Gaunt from Voice 21 offers some quick wins and tested ideas


The term “oracy” was first coined in the 1960s by academic Andrew Wilkinson to emphasise that, just like literacy and numeracy, speaking skills can and should be taught at school.

According to the research, good spoken language skills lead to better academic outcomes, greater confidence, and enhanced employability (see EEF, 2021; Gascoigne & Gross, 2017).

Yet, up to 75% of children who experience persistent poverty start school “below average” in terms of language development (Gascoigne & Gross, 2017).

At Voice 21, we believe that every child should have access to a high-quality oracy education which equips them with the oracy skills they need to succeed in school and in life. But how, with the pressure of an increasingly crowded, content-heavy curriculum, can you find the time to teach oracy explicitly?

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