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Hughes Hall Oracy Centre sharing best practice internationally

The University of South Australia has invited leading members of our Oracy Centre to take up visiting scholarships in Adelaide to help develop research and teacher training with education leaders in Australia.

Oracy Cambridge, the Hughes Hall Centre for Effective Spoken Communication, works to promote oracy in schools and in wider society. This work includes writing papers for governments, influencing policy including the establishment of the Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group, providing training and consultancy for schools around the world and running best practice conferences.

Neil Mercer is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, Director of Oracy Cambridge: the Centre for Effective Spoken Communication, a Life Fellow of Hughes Hall and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society:

“We are helping schools around the UK and around the world to integrate oracy into their curricula. Increasingly, education leaders and policymakers, along with employers, are realising the enormous value of a learning culture that prioritises the development of spoken language skills.”

“Today, more than ever, activities in educational and workplace settings rely on the effective use of the spoken word – for learning and teaching, and for working collaboratively. It is essential we nurture young people’s oracy skills in all schools and not just those within the private sector” said Neil.

From left, Ayesha Ahmed and Alan Howe, Oracy Centre Associates, and Neil Mercer, Director of Oracy Cambridge: “Oracy is important because we all need to know how to use talk to think effectively together.”

The University of South Australia will welcome visiting scholars from Oracy Cambridge over the next five years as part of an initiative to ‘engage with the world’s leading thinkers, makers and researchers’ and enable them to develop their own research and teacher training activities concerning oracy.

Alan Howe and Ayesha Ahmed, Oracy Centre Associates and By-Fellows of Hughes Hall, will be the first visiting scholars to take up this opportunity. As the first visitor, Alan is currently in Adelaide:

“This opportunity to share knowledge with Australian educationalists is exciting and reflects a growing international recognition of the importance of developing young people’s spoken language skills, and the skills of their teachers, in using talk effectively for teaching and learning” said Alan.

“I am sharing the work of Oracy Cambridge, especially how we provide a link between research and school-based practice, evidencing much of this in situ through the work I’m doing in residence with a school in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. It is an exciting dynamic – talking and learning together about the importance of talking and learning together. Best practice in action!”

Ayesha Ahmed will be the next visiting scholar during the 2023/34 academic year developing this collaboration between Hughes and UniSA:

“I’m looking forward to being able to share the innovative work we’ve been engaged in at Oracy Cambridge with the wider international research community so that we can combine practical support for schools and other educational institutions with the most up-to-date evidence of what works well and why.”

“I will report back next year on what we’ve been able to achieve together by linking research leaders from opposite sides of the world.” said Ayesha.

Further information