Oracy and Respect
SLT

Oracy and Respect


Claire Till
Claire Till
Oracy and Respect

It is widely acknowledged that oral literacy is an integral part of student learning and remains a key focus not only of our curriculum but also in relation to the BMS themes of respect and community. Only recently there was an interesting piece of research highlighting the impact of literacy both in terms of what we say and what is heard. This research examined the influence that technology, in the form of smart speakers has on children’s way of speaking to women. With 42% of children aged 9-16 years old utilising the seemingly limitless knowledge of such devices the research provides an insight into how our children are learning about the concept of respect.

While respect is seen as having due regard for other feelings smart devices within our homes are teaching children the opposite. Indeed, the researchers found that through making demands, noticeable in their absence of a please or thank you to such technological devises children are being socialised in these ‘blunt’ patterns of language.

The language that when applied in a different context is often perceived as rude and insulting. Further adding to this learning process is the fact that most if not all smart devices have a women’s voice thereby encouraging children to transfer the demanding speech structure onto female figures within their life. Teaching children to recognise orality in context is one of the many challenges that all parents, careers, and school face. Yet oral literacy is central to promoting respect and it is through treating oneself and others with the respect that learning improves. It is therefore with A Mind to Be Kind that we welcomed students into school this term for it is an attitude that influences respect and the way in which we express it through our grasp of oral literacy.

As Clay Christensen (How Will You Measure Your Life, 2010) said “If your attitude is such that you can only learn from some people, your learning opportunities will be very limited. But if you have a humble eagerness to learn something from everybody, your learning opportunities will be unlimited.”

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