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Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group report highlights the importance of 'Supporting Spoken Language in the Classroom' research project

School of Education's, Dr Ioanna Bakopoulou

17 December 2020

The Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) have published their interim report with recommendations that highlight the importance of Dr Ioanna Bakopoulou’s research on Supporting Spoken Language in the Classroom.

In September 2019, Dr Bakopoulou was asked to contribute evidence to the Oracy APPG's 'Speak for Change' Inquiry based on her research on Supporting Spoken Language in the Classroom (SSLiC). This research highlights the importance of oral language, in particular on the impact of poor language skills for children's academic attainment and long-term outcomes and aims to empower educational professionals in enhancing children’s oral language by implementing a whole-school, universal language intervention. 

This week, the Oracy APPG published their Interim report which focused on the need for stronger and more consistent provision within and across schools and better support for teachers to enhance children's oral language development. These recommendations further highlight the importance of Dr Bakopoulou's Supporting Spoken Language in the Classroom project currently implemented in schools in Bristol.

Dr Bakopoulou said, "I was delighted to receive the Speak for Change inquiry report that highlights how fundamental oral language is for children’s cognitive development and academic attainment, their wellbeing, and life chances. And although oral language has always mattered, it matters now more than ever. The Covid-19 pandemic has widened the already existing ‘language gap’ raising concerns that disadvantaged children are regressing in language and communication skills. The report stresses the need for a systemic, whole school approach to supporting oral language and better support for teachers to embed oracy in their classrooms.

The report recommendations put the importance of the work we do with schools that are currently taking part in the SSLiC programme into ever-sharper focus. By investigating the factors affecting the implementation of whole-school, universal language interventions in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, our schools are leading the way in terms of innovative oracy practice and I am very excited to share the project outcomes in March 2021 when the project finishes".


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