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It’s only words: why oracy is important

May 17 @ 19:00 - 20:00


5th Webinar – May 17th 2022, 7.00 pm (Ukrainian time)

 TITLE: It’s only words: why oracy is important

Zoom link to the sessionhttps://us04web.zoom.us/j/8575070872?pwd=N21TNnNDNjRYMkFYSEdIdXViMzE3dz09

Neil Mercer

My presentation will focus on two themes:

  1. Learning through talk: making the best use of talk for teaching and learning
  2. Learning to talk: providing oracy education to develop students’ language skills

In relation to the first theme, I will describe what is known from research about how teachers can best use talk to help students learn. In relation to the second theme, I will first explain why the development of young people’s spoken language skills is important and mention some effective ways that teachers can develop those skills.

Sarah M Howell and Lisa Kester-Dodgson

In this presentation we shall share our experience of an oracy classroom-research project we carried out with two classes of an Italian secondary state school in the Marche region of Italy.  We shall be illustrating some of the features of the project, the activities the students took part in and the concluding public speaking event we held.

We shall also be discussing the impact the oracy project has had on both the teachers and students.

Presenters’ Biodata

Neil Mercer is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge and Director of Oracy Cambridge: the Centre for Effective Spoken Communication, at the Cambridge college Hughes Hall. He is a psychologist whose research has focused on the development of children’s spoken language and reasoning abilities and teachers’ role in that development. He has worked extensively and internationally with teachers, researchers and educational policy makers.

He was given the Oevre Award by the European Association for Research into Learning and Instruction and the John Nisbet Fellowship by the British Educational Research Association for outstanding contributions to educational research.  His books include Words and Minds and Interthinking: putting talk to work.



Sarah Howelli, is an ELT author, adjunct Professor at Università Politecnica delle Marche and Second Vice-President for TESOL Italy. She is also a Voice21 International Oracy Leader.

Sarah has been running CPD sessions and courses for teachers for over 30 years and offers specialist oracy interventions with students and teachers in schools across Italy.  In 2021, in response to the pandemic, Sarah co-created the Oracy Italy Group to support teachers in developing talk in their schools so that all students may reap the benefits of an oracy rich education.

She has published extensively for primary and secondary ELT in more than 40 countries.

Lisa Kester-Dodgson is an author, Voice21 International Oracy Leader, TESOL Italy Executive committee member, teacher and teacher trainer. She has been involved in ELT and teacher training since 1990 and has published widely for both the primary and secondary sector in a variety of countries. She offers oracy oriented CPD courses for teachers as well as oracy projects for students. Last year she co-created the Oracy Italy Group to support teachers on their oracy journey.



May 17
19:00 - 20:00